Album Reviews

The 1975 – Being Funny In A Foreign Language

(Dirty Hit) UK release date: 14 October 2022

A gradual, encouraging maturation from Matty Healy and co which combines melodious songwriting with some bracingly abject lyrics

The 1975 - Being Funny In A Foreign Language Listening to The 1975 can be quite exhilarating, as they show a remarkable capacity for both brilliant and awful ideas. For every TooTimeTooTimeTooTime there’s a People, and they can randomly veer from the most interesting ‘rock’ band of our time to insufferable indulgence. Being Funny In A Foreign Language features the instantly recognisable contributions of Jack Antonoff and combines melodious songwriting with some bracingly abject lyrics.

Over Part Of The Band’s cello-driven accompaniment, we are treated to a sardonic stream-of-consciousness performance from Matty Healy that delves into sexual fantasy, his former addiction and what comes off as fairly nonsensical boomer material (“vaccinista tote bag chic baristas”?) before turning the disdain towards himself at the end.

I’m In Love With You is a enjoyably breezy pop track but its hook is too repetitive to go on for 16 bars, while Wintering paints an endearing picture of a Christmas reunion replete with family in-jokes and homely, stepwise chords. Oh Caroline rocks some nifty rhythm guitar licks, sounding like a descendant of Michael Jackson’s Human Nature, and Human Too coalesces into a nice crunchy groove even if the background studio noise becomes a bit much.

All I Need To Hear is easily one of the best songs The 1975 have ever made, as a bluesy chord sequence soundtracks refreshingly unironic and heartfelt lyrics about a lost love, shades of Billy Joel and Randy Newman deployed in the most tasteful way.

The production on closing track When We Are Together is similarly heartfelt, this time undercut by sarky lyrics about gaslighting and getting cancelled. Does this bitter aftertaste constitute a bad idea? Perhaps, but there do seem to be less of them these days, and Being Funny In A Foreign Language represents a gradual, encouraging maturation for the band.

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The 1975 @ Brixton Academy, London