By Catelin Schwoerer
“Do you think I have forgotten?” The 1975 is back after two years with a new album. Being Funny In A Foreign Language is The 1975’s fifth album, following Notes On A Conditional Form released in 2020 that included several new different sounds. This album features a few love songs and a couple sarcastic ones. The wide array of instrumentals in this album make it an album worth a listen.
This album features Jack Antonoff as a producer, who has also produced songs for many popular artists such as Lorde, Taylor Swift, and Lana Del Rey. The band has been together since their teenage years and includes Matty Healy as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Adam Hann as the lead guitarist, Ross MacDonald as the bassist, and George Daniel as the drummer. Their first album together was self-titled— The 1975. It jump-started their career, featuring hits such as “Chocolate” and “Robbers”, and topping the UK Albums Chart.
The 1975 has kept their signature pop sound for years— it’s no surprise that this album continues the pattern. This album has a pop focus, especially portrayed in the leading singles “Part Of The Band” and “I’m In Love With You”. The instrumentals vary from upbeat and synth to acoustics. The vocals also vary throughout the album, with some songs including very raw and soft vocals and some with a more whiny vocal technique. Some falsetto was used to contrast in the songs, which is very soft and relaxing to listen to. The whiny voice in most of the upbeat songs gets annoying at some points— I think the voice used in the slower songs would sound much better.
The lyrics are not the highlight of this album. There are a few high points, being “About You”, “All I Need To Hear”, and “Happiness”. “About You” is the best song on the album by far. The repetition of the line “Do you think I have forgotten about you?” creates a sense of nostalgia in the song— it makes it feel like looking back on faraway memories. There are some beautifully written lyrics, one of them being “We get married in our heads / Something to do while we try to recall how we met”.
“All I Need To Hear” is one of the top songs on the album as well. The lovely lyrics pair with the soft instrumentals well. It explains the feeling of loving someone so much that it doesn’t matter if they actually love you— “Oh, I don’t care if you’re insincere / Just tell me what I want to hear”. “Happiness”, one of the singles of the album, is also a fairly well-written song. The lyrics are cute, including ones such as “In my soul, got this feeling I didn’t know until I’ve seen you” and “I’m happiest when I’m doing something that I know is good”.
With every album there are highs and lows, and this applies to Being Funny In A Foreign Language. The weakest song on this album is “I’m In Love With You”, which was a single. The lyrics of the song are basic, and the repeated “I’m in love with you, I- I- I- I-” grows to be annoying throughout the song. It is definitely one of the skips on this album. The rest of the songs not mentioned are okay, but there are none that really stick out. Most of the songs on this album are just average.
This album doesn’t really experiment much with their normal sound. Some of the songs are softer than ones in their previous albums, but there isn’t much variety. The vocals and songwriting haven’t improved or gotten worse over the years, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. It’s on par with their other albums. I would have hoped to see some experimentation in genre after eight years of making music, but some fans do enjoy the same sound. You can tell that the band formed when they were teenagers, since their music is very youthful sounding.
Honestly, I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to this full album again— only the few highlights. I think that it is an album to listen to once, especially if you already like the 1975. Make sure to listen to the highs of this album though, as they are beautifully written and produced.