ALBUM REVIEW: The 1975, Being Funny In A Foreign Language
Love them or hate them, The 1975 has been around for a long time and aren’t going anywhere. They went from being simple on their debut to deeply conceptual on their opus A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, a veil lifting moment where many people finally realized the vision of frontman Matty Healy. Five albums deep and they sound as confident and solidified in their purpose as ever. Although they let pop super producer Jack Antonoff share in the process, the thesis doesn’t get lost. While Clairo and Lorde got swept up in the uniformity of Antonoff’s signature sound, artists like St. Vincent, Lana Del Rey and The 1975 have had enough experience to become discerning.
Being Funny In A Foreign Language is their most concise record since their indie darling debut. But unlike that record, the production across this one is grounded and mature, from the funky “Happiness” to the Paul Simon-esque “Part of the Band” to the shimmering “I’m In Love With You”. They’ve always been less of a rock band and more of a receiver of modern frequencies, and I think it’s done exceptionally well here. Despite some groan worthy bars about vascinista communista baristas and “getting canceled”, the deceptiveness of the lyricism had me doing several double takes. The self-titled opener starts with “I’m sorry if you’re livin’ and you’re seventeen”, which sounds kind of typical until you think about how sad it must be to be a teen in 2022 especially. We get earnest slow jams expanding on that empathy (“Human Too”) and we also get Springsteen and Genesis inspired anthems about Elliot Rodgers and being a fuckboy (“Looking For Somebody (To Love)” and “Oh Caroline”).
At the end of the day, this is a mainstream release. By its design it’s late to the party, a tad generic and not particularly challenging.
Regardless, I love this album and highly encourage everyone to listen to it, if not just to get “I’m In Love With You” stuck in your head.