The 1975s single Chocolate is full of allegory and metaphor coupled with a cool, smooth, almost Jazz-like sound that will have you tapping your foot to the melody. It’s because of that song that I wanted to review their debut self-titled studio album. However, I was sadly mistaken. What could have been a great album that evoked all that was good with Chocolate, instead becomes a heavy-handed, pop/rock soundtrack with little to no substance.
The album opens up on an intro (The 1975, as it’s called); it’s an entrancing, almost hypnotic sound that’s dead-set on keeping you invested throughout the some 60 minutes. With that, I was invested a bit clamoring to hear what else they had in their catalog. The next track, The City, opens up with the line, “don’t call it a fight when you know it’s a war!” Not only is a good metaphor for a relationship but it’s also a foreshadowing of how I began to feel after the albums fourth track, Chocolate.
In case you didn’t know, Chocolate is about how smoking weed is incriminating for young kids in England but it’s also a way of life. It’s a great song that doesn’t hit you over the head with its subject matter; it’s subtle. Eventually overtime, the subtlety diminishes and you’re left with One Direction for teen boys.
Besides the lyrical substance, the arrangement of tracks seems to be out of place. While some tracks feel that they’re in the right spot, like many of the interludes, but the back half of the album doesn’t feel like they were placed on the wrong album. Tonally, the last five songs sound like they were rejected at some point and then thrown back in to meet demand. Menswear and Pressure (I do like Menswear, however) have incredibly long introductions, the former of which lasts one minute 40 seconds before actually getting into the meat of the song. I guess it’s the effort they tried to put in that the album is entrancing but it doesn’t really work as a whole.
The 1975 tried to make a great album but track arrangement and lyrical content killed them. The lack of subtlety in their music makes it sound like One Direction for rebellious teen boys. Songs about sex, weed, and partying are their repertoire but they lack the creativity to make those songs enjoyable.