Music Review: The 1975 mix it up on debut album

The 1975, “The 1975” (Vagrant Records/Interscope Records)

The 1975’s self-titled debut is a mixed bag. Jumping from guitar-heavy indie hits to disco funk dance-floor tracks, the boys from Northern England say the varied sound of the album is down to their “lack of identity.”

That lack of identity allows a rawness to emerge, both in lyrics and music. However, despite the variation on the album, the indie pop tracks are the ones that work the best.

“Chocolate” is the perfect concoction, opening with an infectious riff, and it almost doesn’t matter that the only word in the song you can decipher is “chocolate.” “The City” plays off the strength of singer Matty Healy’s voice coupled with a pounding drum beat and a repetitive chorus.

The album is co-produced by Mike Crossey, who has worked with The Kooks and Arctic Monkeys, and though The 1975’s lyrics don’t match the lyrical prowess of Alex Turner, at times they are as playful and sarcastic. In the synth-filled “Girls” they jibe: “I like your face despite your nose, seventeen and a half years old.”

In general, however, lyrics are littered with teenage angst. “Sex” covers the obvious themes of teenage lust but paints literal scenes: “My shirt looks so good, when it’s just hanging off your back.”


Clarification: In the original version of this article, The Associated Press identified the record label for the new self-titled release from The 1975 as Dirty Hit Records/Polydor Ltd. That was the act’s British label, but the album was released in the U.S. by Vagrant Records/Interscope Records.


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