The 1975 - Notes on a Conditional Form
May 22, 2020 (updated Jun 20, 2020)
62
After over a year of delays, the final installment of the "Music for Cars" era is finally here and... well... yeah. Why am I reacting like this? The singles lineup was nothing short of terrific, but "Notes on a Conditional Form" has raised some red flags that I should've been more cautious of from the start.

While the rollout for this album was pretty bad, don't get me wrong, the singles are easily the standouts of this entire project! The record kicks off with the amazing, energetic and straight-up PUNK "People"! It's such an addicting and fantastic song full of revving guitars, fist-pumping drums and the terrifying "WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP!" verses that I absolutely adore! I'm wishing for a record full of post-hardcore bangers! "Frail State of Mind" is probably the only electronic song on the record that truly works. It's a very Burial-esque future garage track that introspectively displays anxiety through some heartfelt lyrics. "If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know)" is yet another outstanding 80's cut from the 1975 that could've ruled the charts 25-30 years ago if it hadn't been for the modern subject matter, which focuses on Matty Healy's infatuation of a girl he hooked up with online. The witty writing, incredible chorus and eargasmic saxophones truly makes this song! “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America”, eyeroll-inducing title aside, it's a well-written indie folk number about two same-sex lovers who follow a religion that forbids them to be together. Phoebe Bridgers also makes an appearence to give a female twist on the story, which I thought was also pretty smart.

There are definitely a handful of tracks that I do genuinely love! Unfortunately, this is where the problems with The 1975's past records rear their ugly heads. If "Notes" was around 50 minutes in length and this was the final paragraph of the entire review, I would've said that this is their best record to date. But this record is actually 22 songs and 80 minutes tops. Why? Well, the reason comes from the biggest issue of any 1975 album: filler. Tons and tons of filler, and it’s even more pronounced than it’s ever been here.

There are the more questionable and unnecessary cuts like "Yeah I Know" and tracks 18-20. But then there are the outright terrible cuts. "Shiny Collarbone" is just a flat-out anomaly in the tracklist that features an obnoxious Cutty Ranks sample that repeats throughout the entire fucking track. And then there's "Roadkill"... well the title ain’t lying. This is a horrible, tasteless country track that tries to meld-in the band's style and glamour with disgusting results. Coupled with some cringe-worthy lyrics, I'd say this is pretty much up there with "TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME" as one of their worst songs yet.

As much as I think this is an okay record, this is a such a step back from "A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships". I still believe that The 1975 has some great potential to be a great pop band, but they can't seem to let go of the issues that have plagued their other records and at least trim their records to a reasonable length. Overall, "Notes on a Conditional Form" is a beautifully-produced but bloated sea of their best and worst elements and I can't help but feel let down by it.

Fav Tracks: People, Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America, If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know), Frail State of Mind, Me & You Together Song, Nothing Revealed / Everything Denied, Playing on My Mind, Guys, Don't Worry

Least Fav Track: Roadkill, Shiny Collarbone

Score:
6.2
Fine
Plats's Tags
3 Comments
May 24, 2020
bruh roadkill was a lyrical highlight!
May 24, 2020
@sleighbell "Man in the gift shop called me a f*g, I feel up my tucked-up erection" Is it really now?
May 25, 2020
yes:)
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