Here come the Kid A comparrisons I guess.
What just happened?
No seriously, what just happened? Let's take you back BEFORE I listened to the album, where I felt terror. Pure unbridled terror.
I am, admittedly, a huge fan of The 1975. While Matt Healy can seem pretensious at times, I still love the bands blend of indie pop, indie rock, electronica, ambeint, jazz and all the other genres they try to tackle. They are, without a doubt, the band I WANT to be.
They are the band that just seem cool, collected, interesting and above all: fun, while still being able to bring up real points about sociatal issues! From the cool, allyway street aestetics of the EPs and their Debut, to the 80s vapourwave trailings of...sigh...I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it...seriously, fuck that title, and then the bonified straight up pop direction A Breif Inquiry took...what the hell was this album going to be?
Especially with how goddamn broad the singles were, jumping from hardcore punk in People, to garage music in Frail State of Mind to indie folk in Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America (what the fuck is this track title? Why 2005?) and everything in between in a heartbeat.
But as much as I love them, and have adored so many tracks of theirs (including the singles leading up to the realese of this record)...could the band really pull off an hour and twenty fucking minutes?
AN HOUR? AND 20 MINUTES? WITH 22 TRACKS?
And now, a collection of jokes about the length of this album:
- Bitch, that's a feature film, not a goddamn album!
- What is this, a Dream Theater album?
- This is literally longer then 3 short films played one after another.
- What is this, a Swans album?
- Did they want to have the minutes the album plays to have the same number as the YEAR IT CAME OUT?
- What is this, a Migos album?
What else do I expect? The band to do a 30 minute improv poem about how Matt wants to fuck someone in VR? I wanted this to be a masterpiece based on the time, but AN HOUR AND TWENTY MINUTES? No matter how good the album was, I knew, from the bottom, top and tip of my heart, that this was going to be one of the most bloated albums of 2020. By far.
IT'S AN HOUR AND 20 MINUTES! GIVE ME SLACK!
So I thought, please...let it be good...please...
And...uh...it's...uh...well...it's...I...uh...i'm kind of lost right now? I think i'm gonna sleep on this.
I have now listened to the record three times in a row. That's four hours, without breaks.
And now i'm even more confused.
So first off all, was this album bloated like I expected? Well, while each song did surprisingly never straight up bored me, re-listening to this album is a goddamn challange. There is SO MUCH music here, that even if the album was amazing and every song here was great, it's still an hour an 20 minutes that I need to set aside for this album. It's still bloated, long winded and a lot to take in all at once.
And honestly, my biggest fear of this album was that it would be filled with filler. But...yeah, every track here feels like it connects to the next in a strange way. It does feel like the quote on quote 'best' record The 1975 have objectively made up to this point...
So let's actually talk about the album, shall we?
So in terms of comparison to the rest of the bands discography...this is a electronic acoustic album with little devients of country, 80s pop, hip hop, grime and rock. Jesus Christ even saying that out loud it sounds like a fucking mess, because that's what this album kind of is....and I honestly might actually like it?
The record starts off strong with a political backbone talking about climate change and the world ending in the intro track and People, but sadly these (unless you count the quote on quote satire of 'Roadkill') are the only TWO TRACKS that cover that theme head on. I'm not shitting you, the rest of the hour and 22 minutes is about relastionships, love and anxiety. If you were all hoping for another People, tough shit I guess.
After The End (Music for Cars) (which realistically should have been lower in the track list), the album goes full force into a hypnotic electronic and acoustic bender. Tracks like 'Yeah I Know', 'What Should I Say', 'I Think There's Something You Should Know' and the geninly pointless 'Bagsy Not In Net', 'Shiny Collarbone' and 'Having No Head' are all deviants of the same electronic garage type sound from 'Frail State of Mind', and the rest is either 90s pop rock or acoustic tracks (with a few exceptions like the 80s inspired 'If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know)' and the hip hop inspired 'Nothing Revealed / Everything Denied').
Look, I actually really like the electronic sound this album has. Genuinly. There is no denying that the electronic nature this album has really connects with me since I am just in LOVE with the vibe of a garage club, so with this album being just half of an electronic album, I really love it! But...sigh...the acoustic tracks bore me to tears.
I'm sorry y'all, but acoustic 1975 and 90s pop 1975 has never been my favorite 1975. What can I say? I don't care for those tracks in general so why would I start caring now? Tracks like 'Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America', 'Me & You Together Song', the almost shoegazy nothingness of 'Then Because She Goes' and the pretty but uneventful 'Playing On My Mind', while I like in the moment, just puts me to sleep in the moment sadly. Its more of a prefrence thing then anything honestly, and if you love these songs then good for you! It's just me personally I don't like these tracks that much...
...and then...there is Roadkill.
This song is fucking cursed. It's cursed. It's bro country done by 197-goddamn-5, and i'm sorry but it sounds fucking cursed. I get it's supposed to be ridiculous, but the lyrics 'A man in the gift shop called me a fag, I feel like my tucked-up erection,
There's pressure all over my head' are just cringy. I get it supposed to be a commentary on how a british band sees America and Texas in general...but 'Well, I'm gonna get a condom, but it's for her protection' aint satire, it's just sad.
Fuck it, it's too goddamn long! For this album ultimatly is? It just feels like overkill. It feels like a mixtape not a record. It jsut feels like the band didn't haev a cutting room floor big enough for some of these pointless, and I mean pOINTLESS TRACKS! A good chunk of this album could have been thrown to the wind and good god it would have been more then welcome. There is a good album buried in here, i'm sure, but in this state it just seems like a behemoth of a album that doesn't need to be a behemoth?
Will I be coming back to this record? Most likely. It's too goddamn long but i'll deffinetly be coming back to the best tracks on this album. As for it as a whole? Idk if I can be bothered. Even if this is supposed to be the bands Kid A, it's just so needleslly long that I really do not enjoy the ride. God...what is this thing?
It's just a really needlessly long version of A Brief Inquiry in my opinion. Why is this the obvious next move? Im so confused. I'm gonna go hit my head on a wall for 50 minutes. Bye.
Favorite Jams: People, If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know), Nothing Revealed / Everything Denied, Don't Worry, Yeah I Know
Lest Favorite: Roadkill, Bagsy Not In Net, Shiny Collarbone, Having No Head
Edit: fuck it, inspired by @supertatory , I made my own tracklist based off of the album.
Check it out!
Tracklist for The Benis Cut:
1. The 1975
3. Then Because She Goes
3. Frail State Of Mind
4. Streaming / The Birthday Party
5. Yeah I Know
6. If You're Too Shy To Let Me Know
7. Tonight (I Wish I Was Your Boy)
8. Nothing Reaveled / Everything Denied
9. Don't Worry
10. The End (Music For Cars)