“Let’s make ‘Thriller’” Matty, the singer of The 1975, stated a few months ago regarding their goal in recording their debut album. While this statement is ambitious bordering on arrogant, it’s said in such a way that makes you want to trust that they made something as timeless as Thriller. I mean, this album’s gotta be fan-freakin-tastic if he feels that confident about it.
And he was right. The 1975’s eponymous debut album is confident and, honestly, epic start to finish. Bombastic in their The 1975 way. You may be surprised that such a new band came out with 16 solid tracks in one go, but they’ve been around a while. They met in middle school 10 years ago, started to play music together, and have stayed together ever since. People around Manchester, their hometown, may have heard of them in their early days as Drive Like I Do or Big Sleep. (More info in Richie T’s interview.) Last year, they released one of their tracks – The City – online just to see if anyone would take. It was immediately picked up by the famous Zane Lowe of BBC Radio 1. Since then the band has released 4 EP’s (only available for purchase in the U.K. and Europe): Facedown, Sex, Music For Cars, and IV – as in intravenous. Not “4”. All artwork and videos for these EP’s were done in black and white which became a pivotal part of their persona. But when they released the new video for Sex it was in color. When asked about this abrupt shift, Matty explained that though the EP’s may have sounded black & white, the debut album is a jump into color.
The album has no filler, no hesitation, no censorship, and no faults. I popped the cd into my car (in a nod to their EP – Music For Cars) and found myself grinning, dancing, and yes – sometimes even giggling. I may have even teared up a little bit when I got to the last track, “Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You”. I listened to every second of the album in the track-listed order because this is a masterpiece and deserves to be experienced in the way The 1975 intended. Each song is a stand-out, even the transition tracks. I don’t want to spoil it for you. I want to give you the option to immerse yourself in the album without any preconceived notions of what you’ll hear minute to minute. But if you want to know more, go here to read my track-by-track break down which includes listening links to the songs. Regardless, I’d like to give you some listening tips in hopes you will enjoy this album as much as I did. Which was a lot. An unquantifiable amount.
Sydne’s Listening Tips
1. This album is cinematic, so let your imagination take over. Envision the film and the narrative they’ve created about their lives.
2. Let the ambient noises wash over you, listen for silence.
3. Let the bassline and drums bump and groove. Thank you Ross and George.
4. Let the guitar riffs hook you, courtesy of Adam and Matty.
5. Let the words go. Matty’s got a gnarly Manchester accent that can be tough to understand. After a few listens you’ll pick it up and the words will sink in.
You’ll fall in love. Just let it happen.