thu 14/12/2017

CD: The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It

CD: The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It

Hot band turn to the very worst of the 1980s for inspiration with horrific results

Shiny, ersatz and devoid of hope

It’s sometimes forgotten, as retro-mania runs rampant, that the 1980s gave us some of the most horrible records ever made. Especially loathsome was a style of music made by proficient session musicians, often ex-prog-rockers, trying their hand at ballads, light R&B and jazz-funk – Asia, Sting, REO Speedwagon, Go West, Chicago, late period Level 42, Genesis and, of course, anything by Phil Collins. This was Home Counties music, bland, nauseating, white bread shite-funk for people who’d reached middle age early and enjoyed showing off their stereo. It was, essentially, music for Tories.

The 1975, along with indie doyen Mike Crossey on production, have, we are told, made an album that “distils their love of Eighties sonics into something that sounds impossibly now.” This turns out to mean that, for their second album, one of Britain’s hottest breakthrough bands of recent years delivers a self-satisfied, polished, middle-of-the-road carton of dried out, juiceless emptiness, combining Phil Collins’ dead plastic soul with shiny chart-pop slickness. The result is hideous. Why would anyone want to explore this grotesquely un-happening style of music?

The band don’t show their cards at once. The album opens with a minute-and-a-half chorale before bursting into a passable pastiche of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” entitled “Love Me”. Five songs in, though, as the true AOR hideousness of “She’s American” hits, I begin to pace the room, my gorge rising in abject horror. Cringey yacht rock, wimpy, blue-eyed R&B schmaltz, even a Bryan Adams-with-Chicane-style house number, “The Sound”, they just keep it coming, with lead singer Matthew Healy's affected Mike Skinner-goes-choral voice grating on the ears like thorns dipped in ipecac, interspersed with an electro-orchestral M83 rip-off and an appallingly titled chillout number (“Please Be Naked”). I pinch the flesh on the back of my hand until my eyes water, just to escape the smugness. And it goes on and on for 17 songs, like torture. God knows how long it is. It seems like an eternity in Hell.

There is no excuse for this album. I have a horrible suspicion it will be big too. The idea that real live young people might actually embrace this – which seems likely, given The 1975 are headlining festivals – brings me out in hives. It’s an album that contains all that’s wrong with current pop. There’s nothing rooted about it, nothing of Britain's reality or even an escapist alternative, nothing that says anything, nothing lovely or loveable or fierce or funny or brave or brilliant. Its existence is, quite simply, utterly depressing.

Comments

I really enjoyed reading all of this terribly uneducated 'review' of this album, no truly it was wordered so beautifully it felt like a bee sting from god! This album was great in my opinion it really stepped out of the comfort zone of 'modern pop' not a lot of artist do these days that have a high stature in popular music, like The 1975. Also your 80's pop not being 'in' and being 'outdated' references were all wrong I mean have you heard the synth pop of Blossoms?! I mean seriously if your gonna review something add less metaphors that describe your feelings and more about the music okay? Thanks. 

Review is spot on.  Boring as hell.

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