Album Review: The 1975 – Notes on a Conditional Form

Hello! Long time, no blog. I am emerging from my dissertation-writing cocoon to bring you some thoughts on the latest 1975 album. I wrote this review when the album dropped way back in May (which feels like a literal lifetime ago because of lockdown), but I never got round to publishing it.

So without further ado…

IT’S FINALLY HERE. The long-awaited 1975 album has just dropped, and it’s every bit as good as I expected it to be.

The 1975 are one of those bands that I have followed since their beginnings. They’re super sentimental to me because I started listening to their stuff when I was in my early teens, and haven’t stopped since. They were the soundtrack to my GCSE’s, my time at Sixth Form, and Uni, and that, folks, is the kind of nostalgia that sticks with you.

I would summarise whole album as classic 1975, BUT going further in terms of their production and experimentation, pushing the boundaries even more than before. Their music feels louder and bigger, but still bringing the 1975 stamp of sensitive, honest, and raw lyrics. It’s classic 1975 beats, grooves, and layers, interwoven in an expanse of cinematic soundscapes. It also features some other incredible artists including Phoebe Bridgers (whose latest album has just been released) and FKA Twigs.

In comparison to their previous work, I feel this album marks a brand new era for The 1975. The band have matured; their songs are no longer about getting high and staying up all night. Instead the Healy’s lyrics seem more introspective (if that’s even possible for him?), elaborating on his inner thoughts, and even the tiniest of ponderings. It feels like the monologue of an over-thinking brain (can relate).

The whole album takes you on a journey, starting with a brand new 1975 intro featuring the absolute QUEEN that is Greta Thunberg: an emotive piece on the environment. This leads perfectly into People where all sensitivity is replaced by full on rage; a cry for action regarding the climate crisis.

The End (Music For Cars) is just STUNNING. An orchestration of HSNCC (from their Music For Cars album), written as an ode to Matty’s Nana who sadly past away from cancer. The End (Music For Cars) is an absolute anthem; the perfect track to blast when late night driving (as the name suggests). It features beautiful cinematic soundscapes, literally feeling like the score for an indie movie.

Don’t Worry is a beautifully sensitive and sentimental track, a tune written in the 1990s by Matty Healy’s Dad, Tim Healy, and recorded only recently for the purpose of this album.

Amongst these touching and more chilled tunes are those classic 1975 anthems including The Birthday Party (which reminds me of their first album), Me & You Together Song and If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know), with their trade mark sax solo, this is a SUMMER TUNE! Shiny Collarbone is a BOP, and the name also just cracks me up.

Guys is the perfect track to close the album with. It feels like an ode to the 1975 and their relationship and journey as a band thus far. It’s super heartfelt and sensitive, as he declares that his bandmates (who he’s known forever) are ‘the love of his life’ (#emosh).

I have to say that the album is not my out of all their work thus far (huge ILTWYSFYASBYSUI fan over here)! But I think Notes On a Conditional Form is incredibly exciting and new in terms of production, and I’m looking forward to this new era of The 1975.

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