Review Summary: ...for you are so indulgent yet still so aware of it
The only reason anyone would name an album I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It
is if they'd already forsaken any semblance of restraint. As subtle as a ten-tonne truck to the face, The 1975 hop on the neon-text-on-white-background bandwagon (see: Lupe Fiasco's Lazers
) with one major qualification: it sounds like they actually recorded this album in a sterilised, whitewashed box with no external stimuli whatsoever. It's distractingly polished; every sound and tone is so precise it sounds like an album written by Skynet. Reaching for perfection is hardly a sin, but the minimisation of human error necessitates the reduction of spontaneity and, well, all trace of humanity.
That's not to say that there are no moments of inspiration in I Like It When You Sleep
. In its more minimalist moments, The 1975 show an aptitude for some beautiful soundscapes, such as the Hammock-esque "Please Be Naked". Despite some unbelievably shoddy lyrics (And would you sign an autograph for my daughter, Laura"/Cause she adores ya, but I think you’re ***/I've gotta look for my brain for a bit
), "The Ballad of Me and My Brain" benefits from an emotional performance from Healy and a truncated, more digestible length. The most notable exception to the album's clinical feel is its one-two closing punch, "Nana" and "She Lays Down". The former is a movingly human eulogy, utilising the same echoing keys and drums as the rest of the album to a notably stronger emotional kick; the latter is a sweet guitar ballad, forsaking the album's sanded-down smoothness for a lo-fi acoustic aesthetic. The best of this album proves The 1975 have definite potential, if they would only splash some colour on the walls and rip down the neon lightshow.