The 1975 toe the line between the old and new with latest album


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Mario Ghosn reports on The 1975’s latest album release and his opinions on the songs.

Mario Ghosn, The Carroll News

The 1975 made their highly anticipated return from a two-year hiatus with the release of their fifth studio album, “Being Funny In A Foreign Language” on Oct. 14. The alternative rock band, consisting of lead singer Matty Healy and bandmates Ross MacDonald, Adam Hann and George Daniel, brought their diverse style, one that has become synonymous with their music, to create a lively and emotionally extensive 11 song album. The 1975 utilizes themes from past albums such as love, heartbreak and political issues in the classic 1975 fashion by giving these concepts a twist to create a refreshing addition to their extensive discography. These  unique interpretations by the highly acclaimed musical genius, Healy, provide listeners with a fresh and tasteful album that caters to all. 

Healy and his bandmates choose to kick off every album with the same first track title, “The 1975.” They utilize their first track to address different social issues, much like how their last album’s iteration of track one included a commentary from Greta Thunberg. This go around, Healy focused his attention on young people growing up in an Internet-based world. The song features a fast-paced piano to emphasize the chaotic environment the youth of today’s society endure on a day-to-day basis. Healy packs all he can about the youth into the four minute song, covering controversial topics such as body dysmorphia, politics and partying. Healy covers how these topics contribute negatively to a teenager’s health. This is supported at the end of the song where Healy repeatedly states, “I’m sorry if you’re livin’ and you’re 17.” 

The somewhat unnerving opening track is followed by “Happiness,” which features a lively saxophone instrumental. This song screams modern day disco, from the guitar chords to the utilization of the piano in the background. If there was a song on this album made exclusively for dancing, it would be this track. The beat is full of life which sets the tone for Healy to talk about his personal struggles with his love life. He is stuck on the woman who showed him what true love is, yearning for her to return to him. Knowing he will never have her, he states he will never love again. This contrast of the sorrowful lyrics and the upbeat instrumental creates what can only be described as a musical paradox. 

The 1975 knows how to pull a song together with an unforgettable and unique chorus. “Oh Caroline” and “I’m In Love With You” both boast incredible choruses, oozing emotion and calculated clumsiness  in the instrumentals. These songs create a form of sensory overload for the listener but in the best way possible. They can be replayed multiple times with the listener noticing a different techno beat or instrumental with each listen. Healy’s heart is put on display in these songs which pairs perfectly with the chaotic energy and rhythm that the band is known for.

The band’s frontman, Matty Healy. (Joseph Okpako, Wire Image)

“Oh Caroline” features a fictional woman that Healy made up in his head, claiming that the name had to be Caroline to get the cadencing right for the track. In the song, Healy claims the name is too perfect to rhyme words with compared to other names illustrating that this fictional woman is the only one for him. Although Caroline is fictional, his past failures in his love life shine through and create an emotional track where listeners can relate to being obsessed with someone who does not feel the same.

In “I’m In Love With You,” Healy’s bandmate, Hann, has grown tired of him writing comical, phallic songs over their five albums. Healy originally wanted this song to be titled “I’m Not In Love With You” because he was trying to undermine his true feelings and hide them behind a veil. Hann noticed this and pushed for Healy to stop being comedic and cynical, opting for this song to be about Healy’s raw feelings. Healy obliged and wrote a song free of jokes and double entendres. “I’m In Love With You” is a simple, straightforward love song that will surely make hearts throb, so go find that special someone and dance to it together. 

“Being Funny in a Foreign Language” proposes a conundrum for fans of The 1975. The album grew past the computer production fans have become accustomed to, with the band instead opting for live instrumentals. However, they made sure they did not stray too far from what supporters love about the British alternative rock band. Healy provides an astounding vocal performance full of passion throughout the piece which truly uplifts the lyrics to match with the incredibly complex instrumentals that have become the band’s trademark. The 1975 utilize a wide range of different stories and themes throughout this project while also finding a way to form a cohesive, eleven song masterpiece that will stand the test of time.