‘Sincerity is Scary’ except when it comes to The 1975


Samuel Bradley | Chuff Media

Inga Keselman

On Oct. 14 The 1975 released their latest album “Being Funny in a Foreign Language.” Coming two years after their last album and a “soft-canceling,” the band shocked fans with a shorter body of work. Despite its 43-minute length, fans were happy to see the same insightful and chaotic lyricism the group is known for.

The band received criticism following the announcement of their new album for several reasons. In working to cater to new streaming habits the album is much shorter, nearly half the length of their previous work. Fans were accustomed to the previous way the band made and released their music.

Another criticism came with album production. Previous work had been done by the band itself including members Matty Healy, Adam Hann, George Daniel and Ross MacDonald. The band’s frontman and lyricist, Healy, has previously been known to take control of the creative process.

This time the group brought in pop producer Jack Antonoff.

After hearing the album, fans appreciated how sonically cohesive the work was despite their initial shock with this change in production. Arguably, “Being Funny in a Foreign Language” is the most thematically similar body of work from the group.

“I don’t give a [expletive] about what people on Twitter have to say about Jack Antonoff.,” Healy said in an interview with The New York Times. “Because go and have a half-hour conversation about music with that person, then go have a half-hour conversation about music with Jack Antonoff and see which one leaves you feeling more inspired.”

This new creative approach likely gave way to the soft lyricism focused on love on this record.

“I think I’ve realized what I do: I write about how we communicate interpersonally in the modern age — mediated by the internet. Love, loss, addiction,”  Healy continued to say in his interview. This latest body of work tackles love.

With lyrics like, “Heartbeat is coming in so strong/ If you don’t stop I’m going to need a second one” to “I’m in Love with You,” fosters the album’s uniquely soft and introspective aesthetic.

Other songs like “Human Too,” analyze the flawed human condition. In this song, Healy looks to empathize with others despite their differences and naiveties. Lyrics like “And I’m, I’m sorry that I wish I could change/ But I’ve always been the same/ Yeah, I’ve always been the same/ And don’t you know that I’m human too?” show his empathy and understanding.

The album’s fourth track, “Part Of The Band,” feels like pages from Healy’s diary. In the song he asks, “Am I ironically woke? The butt/ of my joke?/ Or am I just some post-coke,/ average skinny bloke/ Calling his ego imagination?” He is self-aware of the criticism he faced in 2020.

He uses it to trademark this kind of journalistic approach to lyricism. The song also allows listeners to hear Healy’s own intrusive thoughts about what it means to create and what it means to be an artist.

In 2020, Healy was canceled for posting about George Floyd with a link to The 1975’s 2018 song “Love It If We Made It.”

“Sorry I did not link my song in that tweet to make it about me it’s just that the song is literally about this disgusting situation and speaks more eloquently than I can on Twitter,” he said in an apology posted in a Tweet.

Shortly after receiving backlash, Healy deleted his Twitter account. He recently became active again to promote The 1975’s new album with the phrase “deleted once I’m verified” in his bio.

The last two songs on the album are love ballads. “About You” is a duet between Healy and Carly Holt, who is married to Hann. The 1975 describes this piece as a continuation of “Robbers,” a hit song from the band’s first album in 2013.

The album concludes with the song “When We Are Together,” a romantic ballad that details Healy’s past relationships.

In The 1975’s Spotify storyline, they write that the final song should lead directly into the first, detailing love and life through various experiences.