The English band The 1975 always assured his fans that his first era, called, started with the eponymous EP of 2013 and coming up to the present day, would have an outcome. And, after (many) delays and several postponements of release, he arrived on May 22, 2020 in the form of his fourth studio album:.
Each of his previous works tells a chapter of the life of the band, or more specifically, of the main singer, leader and composer Matty Healy, starting in 2013, with his album of estia using themes like drugs and romantic relationships of a life that until then it took place on nights on British streets.
Three years later, the songs already showed other concerns, such as the influence of media and technology in people’s lives. In 2018, the band’s third work features a new Healy, more vulnerable and introspective after leaving rehab, trying to regain his place in the world, focusing on his own behaviors and the changes and injustices that permeate him.
Despite having as main theme the ecological and climatic problems of the planet, it addresses such a wide variety of themes and styles that it is almost impossible to categorize it.
Since its first titled track, a traditional piece that sets the tone for all albums, it already shows that it is not like the others: instead of the original lyrics composed of 10 verses (already well known by fans), the opening of the fourth work of the band English has a monologue of almost five minutes by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg warning about the climate crisis in the world, with only an instrumental and minimalist soundtrack in the background.
The next track, released as the first of the album in 2018, scares with the sudden change of style, with the distorted guitars, the fast and noisy sound and the political lyrics that awaken memories of the American anarcho-punk era, completed by the loud vocals and shouted that it spares no effort from Matty Healy. The third track of the album, on the other hand, resumes the minimalism of the opening in its two and a half minutes of a calm and contemplative instrumental.
From then on, the band is unable to define a unique style, with the footprints of eletropop, 80’s rock, 90’s pop and even American folk and country. There are 22 songs that fill an hour and a half of experimental confusion and, still, punctuated by some of his best works. The whole album looks like a mix of “they got lost in a multitasking mess” with “they know exactly what they are doing”.
With many long and instrumental songs, the focus is on, which refers to the beginning and the main style of The 1975. Through small notes on Spotify, Healy says: “we take all the good in the traditional idea of what it’s The 1975 and we distill it. So, we have the best saxophone solo, the best instrumental, the best guitar riff, the best tribute to the culture of 80’s teen films ”. He even compares the style of the lyrics to the fourth song on the band’s second album.
The partnerships with Phoebe Bridgers, e, also deserve to be highlighted for rescuing a little of American folk music and for the pure, interpretive and subjective lyrics. Another partnership of the album that deserves to be highlighted is the song, written by Matty’s father, Tim Healy, in the 90s.
The song that closes this era is Healy’s declaration of pure and genuine love for his bandmates and close friends, with whom he already shares more than half of his life. With a lyrics as sincere as he can be, he repeats “you are the best thing that happened to me” and, if there can be an outcome for the moment, this is the best soundtrack for him.
Unfortunately, those previously released are the best part of the album, marking the highlights between the contemplative and minimalist instrumentals. Still, in the midst of so many different genres and directions, there is the expectation of knowing what the live shows of a possible new world tour will be like. With, The 1975 shows, once and for all, that it is not necessary to follow a straight line of styles to please the public and, even less, to make good music.