British alternative rock band The 1975 released their second album, “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it,” on Feb. 26, 2016. Yes, that is the full title. The album produces the other-worldly synth pop The 1975 excels at, as well as instrumental tracks that are exceedingly repetitive and as drawn-out as the album’s name.
“I like it when you sleep…” strays more into the territory of ethereal electronic noise than the band’s self-titled debut album. While many tracks, like “Love Me,” “UGH!” or “She’s American” speak to the band’s classic glam pop vibe, others stray to experimentation that often doesn’t pay off. The instrumentation for many of the tracks began to sound uncannily similar, to the point that I felt like I was listening to alien special-effects from the same bad movie over and over again.
“Please Be Naked” and “Lost My Head” felt like buffer tracks with the same eerie sounds. These completely instrumental tracks did not contribute anything to the overall feeling of the album, and just repeated what the other tracks had already accomplished.
However, this experimentation was not always a failure. With “If I Believe You,” The 1975 was extremely successful at combining electronic elements with vocals and instrumentation. They managed to find a harmonious middle ground while alluding to a sensitive struggle with religion, incorporating biting lyrics like “I’ll be your child if you insist” and “I’m a lesbian kiss/ I’m an evangelist.” The track is an awesome critique of religion, utilizing gospel elements that added to the vocals.
The album really hits its stride with “Somebody Else” and “Loving Someone.” Both songs are catchy and Matt Healy’s lilting voice is entrancing. For once, the vocals take precedence over the instrumentation. The two tracks go back to The 1975’s roots, varying up the sound of the album and providing some necessary relief from the overdone ethereal tones. “Loving Someone” does possess some of these electronic elements, but Healy’s quick verses balance them out for a soothing central effect.
“I like it when you sleep…” often drifts into the chaotic in terms of instrumentation and overall sound, but when The 1975 find that sweet spot between 80’s glam pop and modern synth, each track evolves to become a fragile yet beautiful balancing act. This balancing act describes what “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it” struggles to accomplish musically. While they are not always successful, The 1975 prove that this struggle produces more memorable successes than it does failures.