The 1975’s Being Funny in a Foreign Language is an eclectic new album that encapsulates the band’s shift into genre-mixing assortments. Filled with lively synth sounds—courtesy of star producer Jack Antonoff’s production—unlike The 1975’s previous work, the album abandons their alt-rock origins in favour of jazzier, pop notes.
“The 1975” introduces the album: The eponymous track that appears on every album, but with different formulations on each to show the band’s musical progression. This version is quicker-paced, more beat-driven, and much longer than on previous albums, and features the entire band rather than isolated vocals.
Frontman Matty Healy’s quirky and thought-provoking lyrics are, as always, the highlight of the entry. With lyrics like ‘I like my men like I like my coffee / full of soy milk and so sweet it won’t offend anybody’ in “Part of the Band”, The 1975 retain their culturally relevant lyrics, while poking fun at their younger, socially conscious demographic.
The 1975’s success has come largely from their bold lyrical prowess, but also from their collective chemistry, which has only improved in recent years. “Looking For Somebody (To Love)” is one of the album’s highlights, with its upbeat 80s rhythm forming a stark contrast to its dark lyrics. This juxtaposition is not only striking, but is quintessentially Matty Healy. One also can’t forget “About You” – the most enjoyable song of the album––featuring guitarist Adam Hann’s longtime partner Carly Holt. The tempo and lyrics are reminiscent of earlier The 1975 songs, such as “Inside Your Mind” (2018) and “Medicine” (2014).
Some fans consider this album weaker than their earlier work due to its lack of catchy alternative ballads, which were largely the reason the band amassed such popularity. The album, however, is a tribute to the band’s personal rapport, as well as their appreciation towards their fans who have supported them through their musical evolution. The album is a must-listen for longtime fans, as well as new listeners looking to understand The 1975’s ever-changing discography.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Being Funny In a Foreign Language is now streaming on all streaming platforms.