The 1975 explores different genres, take risks on sophomore album

The 1975’s latest album I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It was perhaps one of the most highly anticipated album releases of the year. The 1975 took drastic measures to ensure that fans would understand the grandeur of their second album. First, they deleted all of their social media accounts after tweeting cryptic messages revealing lyrics—a highly successful publicity grab.

Released on Friday Feb. 26, the album contains 17 tracks. This album contained more electro-pop songs than previous releases, however it still had many slow songs—in line with older works.

In addition to electro-pop, the band experiments with both gospel and ballad music on the album. The 1975 is widely known as an alternative rock band. With this album, however, the band pushes its boundaries by exploring different genres that many rock bands would not dare to venture into. On top of it all, the band was able to maintain its angst—something so beautiful that seems to disappear every time a rock band steps into the pop genre.

Every mainstream album has at least one or two defining songs that blow up in popularity due to their repetitive, catchy sound. The 1975 decided to make these songs readily available for the public to enjoy as samples of the album. “The Sound,” “UGH!” and “Love Me” are the three pop songs on this album that are most likely to be overplayed on the radio and get stuck in people’s heads. While undeniably mainstream-friendly, these songs carry a unique electronic sound that works to maintain their originality.

Fans of The 1975 crave their slow, romantic songs alongside their pop songs. “A Change of Heart” and “Somebody Else” are the typical heartbreak songs that listeners love so much. With deliberate melodies and long notes, the two songs are dreamy, beautiful break up songs.

For the track “If I Believe You,” The 1975 traded in slow melodies for jazzy gospel music. “If I Believe You” was a huge risk for this band to take—alternative rock bands seldom experiment with gospel music. The song turned out to be a success, though, and the soulful gospel choir complemented lead singer Matty Healy’s voice extremely well. The amount of emotion expressed is so tangible in this track—especially with the addition of the gospel choir.

Many songs on this album deal with the psychological, a topic that can be very difficult to present in a comprehensible way. “UGH!” is a reflection on Healy’s cocaine addiction, delving into his frustration and shift in mental state through the pure angst of the lyrics. “The Ballad of Me and My Brain” is more explicitly named regarding the exploration of the inner psyche and discusses the less glamorous aspects of being famous.

The album closes with “She Lays Down,” a song about Healy’s mother going through depression shortly after giving birth. Despite many critics’ opinions, The 1975 is not a band catered to 15-year-old girls. The deep, self-aware lyrics indicate that The 1975 is a sophisticated, mature band.

Too often, rock bands lose touch with who they are after their debut album. Pop culture infiltrates their music to the point where they become part of it. Paramore is a prime example of this, as they lost their angst throughout the years as exemplified by their latest album, which was disappointingly pop. I Like It When You Sleep for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It may have a ridiculous Fall Out Boy-esque name, yet it is hugely successful in combining the pop sound that a general audience likes so much while also keeping their originality and identity.

The 1975 experimented with different genres of music on this new release, a true sign of an extraordinary band. The sophomore album has lived up to expectations and was the antithesis of a “sophomore slump” for The 1975.