Let’s be honest, this is one of the most pretentiously titled albums of all time. It’s also a pain in the arse to fit into writing. Its full name is so long that any sentence into which you insert it just becomes gibberish, shortening it doesn’t do its excessiveness full justice, and abbreviating it to ILIWYSFYASBYSUOI just invents a new Welsh town. But it’s a town that should be on every list of places to visit in 2016.
At the top of its list of attractions sits a host of colossal pop earworms, two of which are unleashed almost straight from the off. ‘Love Me’ might channel Bowie’s ‘Fame’ a little too closely for some people’s liking, but it’s an undeniable #banger nonetheless. ‘UGH!’ then follows with its strange yet addictive groove, ensuring that eight minutes in, the 80s party has well and truly started.
Nothing though can hold a candle to the stroke of pure genius that is ‘The Sound’. Four minutes of otherworldly electro-pop that employs an array of vocal effects with mesmerising results, and comes as ready for festival main stages as it does for dancefloors, it’s the moment of I Like It When You Sleep… In fact, it’s the moment of The 1975’s career so far. I Like It When You Sleep… may not end up as the album of the year, but ‘The Sound’ is going to take some stopping as track of the year.
All discoed out? Not a problem. This is an album that remains equally engrossing when it subdues its tone. ‘A Change Of Heart’ provides nonchalantly delivered doses of lyrical entertainment such as “you were coming across as clever / Then you lit the wrong end of your cigarette” and “then you took a picture of your salad / And put it on the internet”, whilst mournful tearjerker ‘Nana’ really tugs at those heartstrings. “It’s not the same when I scratch my own head / I haven’t got the nails for it,” sings Healy oh so tenderly. Kleenex at the ready for this one.
Then there’s the intricate electronic texture of ‘Somebody Else’, the Homework-era Daft Punk craziness of the title track, and ‘This Must Be My Dream’, the number on which the group truly go full boyband. There’s just so much going on here, a little too much to take in on first listen.
Though it’s hard to completely get away from the underlying pretentiousness that makes The 1975 hard to bear at times, I Like It When You Sleep… ultimately reveals a fascinating and mature new side to them that should see them begin to extend their fan base beyond the obsessive teenage masses. Love this band or hate them, their second full-length offering is a modern pop masterpiece – and who’s to say it won’t be their first of many?