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“Being Funny In A Foreign Language” – The 1975

THE 1975 - "Being Funny In A Foreign Langauge"

The 1975 had some time to reflect before diving into the recording of “Being Funny In A Foreign Language”. Conceivably it helped create the matured sound on their latest release while echoing their early work from their self-titled debut. The pop-rock outfit has, as many artists do, grown since its infancy under previous names until The 1975 began the steadfast rise in 2012.

Their trademark album opener ‘The 1975’ accumulated a rejuvenated rework and still plays an integral part in the band’s album structure, but this time with a new sound and different lyrics to the previous four versions. Described by the band’s Matthew Healy as “the startup up to the machine” in a similar streak to that of a games console, it was written with a more emphatic and inward-looking view of the nation’s state from Healy’s point of view.

If there was a “How to…” guide for the case of “self-indulgence” on modern pop-rock records, then surely Healy wrote it. From inadvertent yells and yelps to spontaneous showmanship, Healy’s excitable persona leaps out at the listener on ‘Looking For Somebody (To Love)’ and ‘I’m in Love With You’, and even discreetly on other lyrical facets of this record. From witty remarks to literature references, and injecting some of his own personal adverse challenges, it would be negligent of anyone not to find it spectacularly brilliant, even if it seems absurd at times.

“And I fell in love with a boy, it was kinda lame I was Rimbaud and he was Paul Verlaine In my, my, my imagination. So many cringes and heroin binges I was coming off the hinges, living on the fringes Of my, my, my imagination, oh, yeah”

Matthew Healy – ‘Part of the Band’ by The 1975.

‘Part of the Band’ encompasses a myriad of strings and percussion, which was a more glimmering pop track in its demo before becoming more beguiling and inverse-looking lyrically. The “macho” attitude that Healy, George Daniel, and Co. wanted to bring to the record was still at play, which was brought to life with empathy by the production artistry of Jack Antonoff with the cello and other elements.

Antonoff’s ‘heartland rock’ lends itself to the comparisons of his work or that of Bruce Springsteen influence on a generation, later found at the gut of several tracks like ‘Happiness’, ‘Wintering’, or ‘All I Need To Hear’.

Compared to their other albums like the previous long-player “Notes On A Conditional Form”, “Being Funny in a Foreign Language” steps away from the intermission style story tracks that became synonymous with the length and success of recent records. This time, the tracks such as ‘Happiness’ and Bowie styled ‘Heroes’ track ‘About You’ take on their own intro and outros inclusive.

‘Oh Caroline’, one of the more heart-yearning pieces penned on the record, sits aptly in the middle of the record, standing as a sort of pace-setting centrepiece for the record to continue at pace without dropping much tempo from the whirlwind opening.

The record is a finely balanced long player that pulls the most iconic strings, keys and drums that many would associate with The 1975’s sound to the modern incarnation of what the quartet see as their best foot forward, and upon listening, their best record to date.

“Being Funny In A Foreign Language” is out now on Dirty Hit.