The 1975 – Debut Album

September 24, 2013 7:17 pm

The band’s highest charting single to date, the effervescent ‘Chocolate’, has been playing on radio airwaves since early Spring. It is optimistic, youthful, cheeky – “call it a spliff…we’re never gonna quit it”, and the kind of song characterized by a damn good road-trip. It is the jewel in the crown of the 1975’s debut album. Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Zane Lowe had kept a close eye on the band since the release of their EP Facedown released in 2012. Within a matter of months, ‘Chocolate’ had secured them a place on the BBC’s A-List playlist.

The 1975The album itself is cohesive with big, catchy, choruses. ‘Girls’ is a natural progression from ‘Chocolate’ and the obvious choice for the bands next single. Healy laments falling for “bright eyed” girls who “break hearts”, and wonders what happened to the days of “just messing around”. His reflection in this song parallels with the collective 80’s nostalgia of the album. It comes as no surprise that Healy’s self-professed influences include Michael Jackson and film-maker John Hughes. The album is synth “pop” of the best sort.

Other stand-out tracks include ‘Talk!’ and ‘Heart Out’. The opening of the latter bears a similarity to the synthy pounds at the beginning of College’s track ‘A Real Hero’. Interestingly, Greiller (founder of College) similarly aimed to “synthesise into music the emotions of” his “childhood”. The new wave of Motown/80’s inspired music on the airwaves (Daft Punk, Robin Thicke) may have something to do with this trend for the throwback. The cycle of music has revolved, and this album is an example of it.

Certain tracks tend to slip by the wayside in comparison to the stronger songs. It’s easy to find yourself skipping ‘She Way Out’ and ‘Menswear’ to get to the touching ‘Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You?’- A piano led track on the familial effects of a marriage separation. Similarly the interludes ‘An Encounter’ and ‘12’ feel too long when you’re eager to hear the best songs.

What the 1975 have managed to do is collate the flavor of the past with fresh and honest lyrics. “He’s got a funny face…still looks cool”, “If we’re gonna do anything, might as well just fuck” and most beautifully “I think I’m going to yosh in your mouth”, are a few examples. The more observant and thoughtful lyrics showcase Healys writing ability, themes of visual and audio, a girl who “created a television with her mouth”, the “soft sound to the way she wears her hair down”, the way bodies “speak” to each other.

The album finishes with the sound of a door closing, but I’ve no doubt many more will be opening for the 1975.

On the 8th September 2013 this album debuted at number one.

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