The 1975, an English pop rock band consisting of Matthew Healy (vocals, guitarist), Adam Hann (lead guitarist), Ross MacDonald (bassist), and George Daniel (dummer), is possibly one of the most important bands to emerge in the 20th century, and they released their fifth studio album Being Funny In A Foreign Language on October 14, 2022, under Dirty Hit. Known for their long album names and self-deprecating songs, the band rose to fame in 2016 with their second album I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It, a collection of new wave pop-rock that’s seen once again in their latest release. Despite the massive success the band has experienced in the last years, they’ve continued to stay true to their musical roots and create yet another album perfect for coming-of-age angst.
Being Funny In A Foreign Language opens, like all The 1975 albums, with “The 1975”. The starting tracks are supposed to be check-ins on the band and their fans, teasers to what the rest of the collection will sound like, and normally ethereal experiences for listeners. These facts are no exception in their latest release as “The 1975” is proof that the band knows their audience; the piece is filled with messages of teenage angst and struggles, Healy singing repeatedly, “I’m sorry if you’re living and you’re seventeen” as he emphasizes how he understands the feelings of his fans. The closing saxophone notes rise again in the following song, “Happiness”, a more rockable track perfect for jamming out.
The fourth song, “Part Of The Band”, is an experimental folk rock number with satirical lyrics and a steady guitar beat. “Am I ironically woke? The butt of my joke?/ Or am I just some post-coke, average skinny bloke/ Calling his ego imagination?” “I’m in Love With You”, the sixth number on the eleven-song album, is a sequel to the band’s 2016 track “A Change of Heart”, bringing in the same themes of love despite the lack of understanding within a relationship.
“All I Need to Hear” is the outlier on the album, a slow-danceable song that stems from Healy’s desire to create a piece that sounded like a cover. Even though it’s greatly influenced by the work of Paul Simon, the song is still classic The 1975, bringing in the same kind of energies of love and longing: “‘Cause it all means nothing, my dear/ If I can’t be holdin’ you near/ So tell me you love me/ ‘Cause that’s all I need to hear”. The eight track, “Wintering”, is Healy’s take on a relatable Christmas song, covering themes of not wanting to go home for Christmas with blunt lyrics on family dynamics, “Now mum’s not a fan of that line about her back/ She said it makes her sound frumpy and old/ I said, ‘Woman, you are sixty-four years old’”.
The penultimate song, “About You”, builds up hard in something reminiscent of the band’s 2018 hit “Love It If We Made It”, driving up to the first verse with an intense guitar strum and strong beat. Hann’s wife Carly Holt joins Healy on the chorus, her soft, whisper-like voice complimenting Healy’s deep tone, creating a dark romantic vibe that the song exudes. The album closes with “When We Are Together”, an acoustic track about dealing with the aftermath of a breakup. Throughout the album, songs like “Looking For Somebody (To Love)”, “Oh Carolina”, and “Human Too” embody what The 1975 had in their debut and previous works, impactful lyrics paired to a coming-of-age tune.
The 1975 has been at the forefront of pop rock, angsty music for many years now, a position they are likely to keep for the next decade due to their unique sound and relatable emotional appeal.
Purchase Being Funny In A Foreign Language by The 1975 here.