The 1975‘s second studio album, I Like It When You Sleep for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, isn’t only a mouthful; it’s a chore to get through. Despite this, it sits neatly at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The band undoubtedly has mass appeal – with upwards of one million followers on Twitter and over ninety-two million plays of their song “Chocolate” on Spotify, it’s clear that they have no issue selling records or selling out venues. Unfortunately this means that their sound runs parallel to the likes of One Direction, bland at best and horrifyingly annoying at worst. We open with a song vainly titled “The 1975”, and it’s a minute and thirty seconds of atmospheric synth and barely decipherable lyrics. This trend continues throughout the entire length of the monstrous 17-track album, with some songs lacking words entirely. By the time you reach “Lostmyhead”, it’s clear this record has nothing to say, and it leaves you wondering who exactly its intended audience was to begin with.
The 1975 are largely considered to be an alternative rock band, but “She’s American” would make even their most die-hard fan doubt that label. They’re beyond popular, but so are the Foo Fighters – the difference being that The 1975’s music is processed, derivative, and wholly uninventive. This kind of music doesn’t move the listener to do anything beyond shut the stereo off. The title track fails to be the album’s saving grace, instead dragging us along for an excruciating six-and-a-half minutes of what can only be described as hollow noise. We close out with two acoustic songs, “Nana” and “She Lays Down”, though Matty Healy’s voice isn’t compelling enough to make them the powerful endnotes they should have been.
Ultimately, The 1975 are a band whose mainstream appeal is almost offensive. A group this boring (to put it frankly) shouldn’t be reflective of alternative music or the face of the indie genre at all. From “Love Me” all the way down to “This Must Be My Dream” there isn’t one song on I Like It When You Sleep that could be considered exciting, or even interesting. It simply doesn’t live up to the hype. Regardless, they’ll still sell more records than more deserving bands could ever dream of, and what a cruel injustice that is.