The 1975 - Notes on a Conditional Form
May 20, 2020 (updated May 21, 2020)
80
This isn’t the best 1975 record, but it is the *most* 1975 record.

Haters will say it’s a self-indulgent mess and they will be right. Stans will say it’s another genre-busting masterpiece from the best pop rock band of this generation and they will also be right. If A Brief Inquiry was a Big Statement Record, Notes is a collage of Small and Medium ones, an approach that plays to a lot of the 1975’s strengths but also exposes many of their weaknesses. That said, I mostly love it. Not so much the acoustic stuff - which I’m sorry to say there’s way more of than on any previous 1975 record - but just about everything else (somehow) works.

The real magic happens when the 1975 find the perfect alchemy of sound and content. Some of the combinations are more straightforward, with the jangling college rock of “Me & You Together Song” fitting its rom-com lyrics or “Roadkill” using roadhouse rock tropes for its tales from the pit stops of a US tour. But what other band would turn a depressive episode into a gentle rave? What other band would spend their biggest, brightest hooks on a skeezy cyber sex jam? What other band could - or would - deliver that infamous wanna/Obama/sauna/marijuana fusillade with the exact right blend of ridiculousness and righteousness? Matty Healy seems to have made it his artistic mission to put every thought or feeling he's ever had on record, and in George Daniel he has a producer who's up to the job, offering sonic possibilities as endless and unpredictable as his internal monologue.

No one but the 1975 could make this record, no other band going has the swagger, the audacity, the *hooks* to swing for the fences for twenty-two tracks straight and hit this many of them out of the park. A band that can explore generational trauma on one track and give you lovesick makeout music on the next. A more disciplined and tasteful band might have had the good sense to edit this thing down into something more focused and concise, but the 1975 are not that band. Having no filter is their superpower. There are misses, sure, even a couple you might find embarrassing, but Matty and the boys have always been willing to own their embarrassments, and their triumphs, and their grievances, their euphoria, their dysphoria, their pettiness, their profundity, and everything in between.
6 Comments
May 21, 2020
I mean, I agree with most of what you say, but if we're judging this record un its whole and form What it is and how is presented, the album lasts too long, and there's so much filler in the last 39% of the album. If took out 5/6 tracks it would be probably perfect. But it's like if ABIIOR is a Ferrari and Notes a Lambo but covered with trash. That's why it's having mixed reviews.
May 21, 2020
An actually good and fair review
May 21, 2020
👍
May 21, 2020
Thanks for reading guys. @DarthSenate66 Thanks, I love your Homogenic write-up. @DAROET I feel where you're coming from too.
May 21, 2020
"Haters will say it’s a self-indulgent mess and they will be right. Stans will say it’s another genre-busting masterpiece from the best pop rock band of this generation and they will also be right."

This could be applied to literally any 1975 album and it'd be correct holy shit you nailed it
May 22, 2020
@Dombot thanks, I do what I can!
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