Mom, Help! The 1975 Made Me Feel Things Again!
by Sammi Todaro
The British Invasion persists! Matthew “Matty Please F*** Me” Healy strikes again! And he’s pulling at your heartstrings with The 1975’s fifth and newest album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language! The British heartthrobs have taken the pop stage by storm since the early 2010s; pairing Matty’s romantic voice with band members George Daniel on drums, Adam Hann on guitar, and Ross MacDonald on bass. The boys, who have been friends since young lads, created an international presence for themselves, charting in the U.S. with “Chocolate” and “Sex” in 2012. Since then, they have created numerous other projects, continuing Matty’s consistent storyline of love and loss, before releasing Being Funny in a Foreign Language.
The best part of every The 1975 album: “The 1975”, their self-titled introductory track. Every album features this intro, preparing you for the emotional rollercoaster you are about to endure. Buckle in, because it is about to be sad. On Being Funny in a Foreign Language, Matty shows sympathy for those battling the hardships of growing up and graduating from their teenage years.
Matty’s raw lyricism makes this album painfully relatable. He reflects on his everyday movements as he grows older and his perspective of life morphs with sophistication and maturity. Being vulnerable has always been his forté though, never turning away from a topic too sensitive or unruly and making it sound lovely. His lightheartedness reels you in, making you stay for the deep-rooted sadness embedded in tracks like “Happiness”. The distinct difference with this album is its expansion to love. Traditionally, Matty dodges the idea of commitment and dedicating life to one person, but here he seems to invite heartbreak and the desire to submit fully to someone.
Just as you’re getting comfortable with a set of uplifting tracks, Being Funny in a Foreign Language becomes progressively darker. The lyrical juxtaposition of “Oh Caroline” and “I’m In Love With You” makes you wonder if these are the same album, but that’s the glory of The 1975. They have mastered the art of pairing upbeat jams with melodic ballads. “Happiness” coats itself in, well, happiness while masking reality, but by “Human Too,” Matty is embracing his and his partner’s imperfections, begging them to open up alongside him.
As someone who has listened to The 1975 periodically since their self-titled debut, their slower, loving tracks have always resonated with me more. On this album, “About You” is beautifully composed, complete with distortion and breathy vocals. I thought I was ascending by the end. This song deserves to be featured in the climax of a Hallmark movie, in the best way. The first half of this album (“Looking for Somebody (To Love),” “Happiness,” “Oh Caroline”) reminds me strongly of their earlier music, yet still feels rejuvenated and fresh.
Matty perfectly captures the lust and longing for young love, chasing after unrequited lovers, and dealing with the growing pains of getting older. Notorious for their synth-hyper pop, joyous rhythms, The 1975 knows how to create the perfect love ballad, no matter how serendipitous or outright suicidal the lyrics are.
Being Funny in a Foreign Language concludes with “When We Are Together,” a nostalgic ending to the overall reflectiveness of Matty’s tone. This song perfectly encapsulates the essence of this album, creating a feeling of optimism for tomorrow amongst the rubble of yesterday. Overall, I was impressed with this album’s flow and will definitely be paying closer attention to their releases from now on. Matty Healy knows what he’s doing and I am most definitely not mad about it.
Being Funny in a Foreign Language Superlatives:
Most Likely to Make me Sob and Snot Bubble: “About You”
Definitely Becoming a TikTok Sound: “Part of the Band”
Most Relatable: “Oh Caroline”
The Windows are Down and I am Very Much Screaming: “I’m In Love With You”
Potential Wedding Song: “All I Need To Hear”
Mid/the most British sounding: “Wintering”
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