The long awaited debut album of The 1975 was finally released Sept. 2, and it’s safe to say it was worth the wait.
Straying from regular cookie-cutter albums, the Manchester-based band’s album is a medley of alternative and indie rock, with songs alternating between high energy tunes to power ballads.
The lack of a single genre is to be expected. This album is a compilation of the band’s music since they formed in 2002. Years of life and change in musical identity went into the album, which includes tracks from the band’s previously released EP’s.
The unclear and identity-lacking sound of The 1975 makes the album even more powerful and does not hinder the band’s ability to portray the three main topics that define the album: youth, sex and drugs.
As stereotypical as these topics may seem for a rock band, The 1975 artfully takes a new and fresh approach, as demonstrated by their high-energy song “Chocolate.” “Now we run, run away from the boys in the blue/ and my car smells like chocolate,” chants lead singer Matthew Healey. Despite the song’s reference to drugs (chocolate) and police (boys in blue), the song remains lively and upbeat and is the highlight of the album. The UK seemed to agree, and “Chocolate” climbed to 19on the UK singles.
Most of the song’s infectious nature can probably be attributed to Healey, who makes the lyrics utterly impossible to sort out. I mean that in a sense that no lyrics are decipherable except for the occasional “Chocolate.” This actually works out in the song’s favor and somehow makes it catchier.
Despite their power and infectious nature, Healey’s vocals take a while to become accustomed to in the musical sense as well and at some moments come close to crossing the fine line between unique and straight-out yodeling. After some serious replaying and consideration, though, Healey lands safely on the side of unique.
That’s not to say Healey’s voice isn’t amazing—it is. Yodeling aside, the entire album showcases Healey’s and the rest of the band’s talents. The band is composed of Healey as lead vocals, Adam Hann playing guitar, George Daniel on drums and Ross MacDonald playing bass.
“Chocolate” is not the only great song of the album: “The City,” “You” and “Sex” are all great tracks as well.
The band gets major influences from ‘90s R&B and is inspired by the best of ‘80s rock. To put it simply, The 1975 sounds like someone combined Vampire Weekend, Foals and Alt-J, and then add some synthesizers to the finished product.
If only to try and see how many words you can understand in “Chocolate,” The 1975 is definitely a band and album to check out.
– Tatjana Tam