The 1975 has excelled on past albums by mixing funky, upbeat music with depressing lyrics.
Being Funny in a Foreign Language, the band’s fifth album, is no exception. The album, released on Oct. 21, revitalizes The 1975’s classic sound to match modern themes.
Matty Healy, the lead singer, sings about more than just love and heartbreak—pop music’s usual calling card—but instead explores the reality of the world we live in. The songs become darker as Healy opens up more about personal struggles and world events, but the deeper meaning of the lyrics on the album make it stand out from past releases.
Every album by The 1975 begins with a self-titled track. On its first three albums, the band used the same lyrics as the original “The 1975” with different music. On Notes on a Conditional Form, the band’s fourth album, Healy broke this trend by sampling a speech by Greta Thunberg for the lyrics on the first track. Now, on Being Funny in a Foreign Language, Healy wrote new and more personal lyrics for the original “The 1975” song.
The song repeats phrases such as “I’m sorry if you’re livin’ and you’re seventeen.” Through such lyrics, Healy’s voice provides cultural commentary. The song shows the band’s point of view of growing up in the media.
Because the band stays consistent in its distinct sound, the listener can look for its development artistically and emotionally in the lyrics.
This band’s traditional juxtaposition between upbeat music and devastating lyrics is especially impactful on this album.
“Looking For Somebody (To Love),” the third track, disguises itself as a peppy, exciting song, but it’s paired with heartbreaking lyrics about school shootings.
“Somebody lying on the field / Somebody crying on the phone / Somebody picking up the body of somebody they were getting to know,” Healy sings.
The 1975 provides a raw meaning to its album as a whole, but especially with “Looking For Somebody (To Love).” The band connects its songs to a political stance rather than maintaining a neutral voice.
The album’s depth provides a security to listeners with a thought-provoking meaning behind each song. Its sound is a nod to not just the ever-evolving world we live in.
There is a sense of comfort in the consistency of this album. The world may be changing at a pace faster than we can sit comfortably in, but The 1975 continued to embrace the sound it has pursued since its inception.
And that is a comforting thing.