I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
On the eve of February 26, 2016, I sat with my knees to my chest on the living room floor and pressed play on The 1975's sophomore album, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it. What followed was an experience that went a little like this:
Track 1 – The 1975:
The moment this song came on I felt like I was listening to the first album again. An intense feeling of nostalgia hit me for the times when I was just starting to fall in love with the band, but all of a sudden the building vocals were cut short. When the choir and Matty first said, "go down / soft sound," I lost it. It was the same song, but at the same time it wasn't. Everything was the same, yet everything was different. I feel like this song is meant to reassure the people that were questioning the 'new' 1975. They are the same people that we love- they've just matured their sound as well as their personalities.
Rate: the beginning of my imminent death
Track 2 – Love Me:
I've been listening to this song since it came out earlier in 2015, but something about it still gets me going. The sharp guitar riff that starts the song follows the poignant ending of The 1975 so nicely. It's just the best transition. I'd listen to it on a continuous loop if we're being honest here. In the context of the song itself, Love Me is just a giant slap in the face for anyone that has ever questioned the band's intentions or actions. This song tells people, "Do what you want. You can love us or you can despise us, we don't really care." They're not here to impress people. They're not here to use their fame to their advantage. They're here to make music and share it with the world. And that is why I love this band.
Rate: trying not to happy cry while typing this on a school bus full of people
Track 3 – UGH!
This is another song that I've been listening to for a while, and it literally always makes me perform weird dancy hand gestures while I'm driving. It's such a bop. It's about Matty's addiction to cocaine, but it's still a bop. Since I have never been addicted to cocaine it's a little hard to relate to, but I think it's possible to use the lyrics in different contexts than drug use. It's about the back and forth of trying to let go of something that a person thinks they desperately need. That can be anything for anyone. #relatable
Rate: can only think of the music video and Matty reenacting the hotline bling dance while listening
Track 4 – A Change of Heart:
Don't get me started on this song. Easily in my top three. For anyone that has ever fallen out of love or lost a friend: this song will hit you like a big, red double decker bus. Hidden within the lyrics are references to songs on the previous album, (ex: "I never found love in the city / I just sat in self pity and cried in the car" "you used to have a face straight out of a magazine / now you just look like anyone" "you played a part 'this is how it starts'") and they are intentional, obviously. Nothing hurts more than pulling out old photos of someone you used to be close to and remembering why your relationship fell apart. That's exactly what this song is doing. It's the same process. It's remembering how Matty felt when he wrote the old songs, and it's realizing that he had a change of heart. Realizing that he doesn't feel the same way as he did when he wrote my favorite songs hurts, man. It really does. But doesn't everyone change their mind at some point? That's human. It's one of the most human things we can do. This is the most honest and heartbreaking song I've heard in a long time. It's so good. It's so good.
Rate: If I could marry a song I'd be on my way to Vegas
Track 5 – She's American:
This song opened my eyes to some pretty rad American stereotypes. I love knowing what people in different areas of the world think of others, so I've been very intrigued by this song. Apparently teeth are a big deal here in The States. Don't have straight teeth? Apparently by American standards that means you're gross (for the record, I'm American and I don't care if your teeth are straight or not as long as you're a decent person. Sigh, I was born in the wrong country). But honestly, I think the part of this song that makes it stand out is the line, "don't fall in love with the moment and think you're in love with the girl." Damn, that's good. Don't believe that a moment you share with someone adds up to a long, beautiful relationship destined for the books. Most of the time that isn't true. Pessimistic? Maybe, but sometimes that's just how life works (hate to break it to you angsty 12 year olds). Also, this song is another bop. I can't even lie.
Rate: 5/10 will wonder why I talked about teeth for half of this section
Track 6 – If I Believe You:
This songgggg. It's important. I'm not going to go into the religion discussion, but Matty has some very strong opinions. And he lets you know what they are in this song. I think it's fair to say that it's hard to not question intentions and beliefs sometimes, and this song sheds light on that in an artistically beautiful way. The choir and the slow, jazzy feel wrap the lyrics up in a big, life-questioning fuzzy blanket. Musically speaking, it's something I would dance to at my wedding. Am I doing a good job of explaining this vibe? 11/10 would say no.
Ps: "if I'm lost, then how can I find myself?" A+ lyric.
Rate: should prance around town with a boombox on shoulder blasting this for all to hear
Track 7 – Please Be Naked:
Despite its title sounding borderline sexual, this song doesn't have any words. However, I understand why the word naked is a part of the title. If I had to describe this song in one word it would be vulnerable. It's so fragile and distinct that it creates an intimate feeling. Nakedness is often associated with vulnerability, so I 100% think this song lives up to the title.
Rate: could listen to on a cloud and be content
Track 8 – Lostmyhead:
If you've ever listened to The 1975's Facedown, the beginning of this song might rip your heart right out of your chest. The melody is eerily similar, but I believe this song has different intentions. From its slow build at the forefront, to the brash guitar and drum that builds as the song continues, I have a theory that it's actually trying to make the listener feel like they are slowly losing their mind. It starts off easy, calm, content; everything's fine. Then, BAM! You're going insane. Crazy sounds. Intense vocals. It's the total package.
Rate: feeling the need to throw a glass bottle in a fit of rage and watch it shatter
Track 9 – The Ballad of Me and My Brain:
This is the perfect follow-up song to Lostmyhead. It sounds like it was written once Matty officially felt like he had lost it. For anyone that has ever felt trapped in their own head this song is a little too real. Sometimes it's 2am and every aspect of your life is a question, and you just want to tell your mind to CHILL. It's hard to turn that off. My favorite line in the song is, "where would I be if I was my brain?" Because where would we all be if we didn't ever push thoughts to the back of our minds? (Guys this is literally what this band does to me. I'm asking pretentious rhetorical questions that have fear-inducing answers).
Rate: reenacting Matty's laugh/scream when he says, "what do you expect when you've got no mind?" feels appropriate
Track 10 – Somebody Else:
This is another crazy important song to me. Being replaced sucks. However, this song that discusses being replaced does not. Matty's vocals in the first verse are so raw, and I think that's important in a song like this because let's face it: we all get sad. Sad is raw. Tears are raw. Matty's voice is sad. Therefore raw is appropriate. The chorus is repetitive, which is another important aspect in a song about being replaced. The replacee believes they've been replaced because of their own fault. They try to rationalize the situation over and over again, telling themselves it doesn't matter. But it does matter. They have to act like they don't care, but they do. This song is so accurate it actually hurts my poor, wannabe emo soul. The best line in this whole song is, "our love has gone cold / you're intertwining your soul with somebody else." MY GOD, MATTHEW. Amazing. Beautiful. I'll never be the same.
Rate: kind of want someone to break up with me so I have a legitimate excuse to listen to this song on repeat for 9 days
Track 11 – Loving Someone:
*Delicately places in the top three* Picking favorite songs is hard for me, but I think this one truly deserves its placement. Along with the resounding high-pitched melody, the make-up of this song is other worldly. It's half rap, half spoken word, half I-don't-even-really-know-what-category-it-truly-belongs-in. That's right, it's so epic that three halves of the song add up to one (or maybe I'm just bad at math). The message that this song conveys is along the line of epic proportions, too. To me, it's warning the younger generation of the life they are living. It's warning of conformity, the danger of idolizing people, and the inability to truly form any kind of lasting relationship. I think Matty feels a personal responsibility in shaping the younger generation of The 1975 fans, so he wrote a song about what he thinks they should be doing with their lives. He's saying, "Stop idolizing me. Idolize yourself. Idolize the ability to communicate effectively and form relationships. Idolize the willingness and vulnerability of falling in love." Believe what you want, but it's important that this band recognizes their influence and takes advantage of it in the most positive way possible.
Rate: will be frustratingly trying to figure out what Matty is saying in the spoken word portion for at least a year
Track 12 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it:
A mouthful, am I right? Ironically enough this song only contains one line of lyrics, "before you go, (please don't go) turn the big light off." I love that line because it can be taken literally, like, "Before you walk out of the room can you turn off the overhead light because I have this lamp on and it's unnecessary," but it can also be taken figuratively to the extreme. I take it as a, "Before you leave me can you give me some sort of closure," situation. (Side note: this is why I love writing because any combination of words can mean anything you want it to). Along with the simple lyrical partnership, this song has some major melodic juxtapositions (just used Matty's favorite word, HA). There are three major parts of the song that all sound completely different from each other, and that has led me to believe that it's meant to represent a dream-like state. Dreams are so irrational. The meanings and feelings they evoke change almost instantaneously, and this song does the same thing.
Rate: TRIPPY VIBEZ AND SUPER LONG SONG TITLEZ
Track 13 – The Sound:
OK. THIS SONG IS A B.O.P. A true, unadulterated bop. As much as I would like to give my insight on what the lyrics mean, I'm just too busy bopping. This is a, "let's go drive around and act like fools while screaming at the top of our lungs" type of song. IT'S A BOP. But in all seriousness, let's discuss what's important: Adam's guitar solo. LITTLE QUIET ADAM JUST FREAKING RIPS IT ON THAT THING. 14/10 would agree his mad skillz significantly increase the bop-ness.
Rate: wondering how one song can possess so much bop
BONUS RATE: bop level maxed out when viewing the music video
Track 14 – This Must Be My Dream:
First thing's first: Matty's vocals. They're intense in some places and soft in others, and I honestly don't know how I sanely handle that beautiful back and forth. The start of the chorus, "this must be my dream / wide awake before I found you" is full of the angsty, passionate feelings toward love that people experience in their teenage years. This song is exactly what you would hear at the close of a romantic comedy, right after the epic kiss, while the love interests walk hand-in-hand down the high school hallway as the credits roll. If I ever direct a movie I will insist that it ends exactly like that.
Rate: want to watch The Breakfast Club so bad now
Track 15 – Paris:
Funny story: the first time I listened to this song I said, "This sounds like it belongs in the Lizzie McGuire movie." You know, like when she's riding around on that mo-ped with Paolo?? Then I realized that that movie was based in Rome, and that I need to stop thinking of Europe as a general location where people ride around on mo-peds all the time. Regardless, this song is one that you can sing to in the car and feel like you might actually get to go to Paris one day. In the context of the song, I read something yesterday that sparked my interest a little bit more than Lizzie McGuire. Someone on tumblr mentioned that Matty's Paris is filled with memories- lovely memories and awful memories, but all intense. The line, "how I'd love to go to Paris again," repeats numerous times, and I found that really interesting. The city is somewhat associated with horrible memories, but he wants to go back. I started to associate it with places I've been in my life- and every single one of them are filled with intense, nostalgic memories. And the memories are both good and bad. No place is ever perfect, but the events that take place somewhere other than home are always remembered so intensely once you return. You always want to go back.
Rate: jealous that Matty can say "go to Paris again," I just want to go!!!
Track 16 – Nana:
Written as a letter to Matty's late grandmother, this song is, to put it bluntly, about death. And that's a tough subject. When someone close to you dies you don't ever know how to handle it. This song is a perfect memento to those stages of grief when you don't know how you're supposed to feel. I love the bluntness of the line, "I don't like it now you're dead," because those are the only kind of words you can actually think to say when you're grieving. People tell you to "remember their life and all of the wonderful memories," but death still sucks, guys. There's no way around that. And the line that ends this song, "But I'm bereft you see / I think you can tell / I haven't been doing too well," accurately depicts that the grieving process never really ends. It can get a little easier, but there's days that everything comes flooding back.
Rate: trying to see what I am typing through tears because Matty's voice crack in the final line gets me every. time.
Track 17 – She Lays Down:
I never expected to hear a song like this from The 1975 outside of their acoustic covers on YouTube. The uncensored guitar and echoey vocals actually make me feel like I'm in a small room listening to Matty sing live. This song is so pure in its sound and in it's context. I love it so much. To end an impressionable album with a track that sounds like a demo was a risky move, but this song fits at the end so well. And Matty's simple, "That was it," at the end is such a Matty thing to do. "Here's this maddeningly complicated album filled with seventeen completely different musical numbers and passionate lyrics! I'm going to end it in the most simple way possible! Gotcha!"
Rate: imminent death reached
Overall, I don't know much about music or the process that goes into making it, but I do know how music makes me feel. This album makes me feel a range of emotions I didn't think possible. It makes me miss people, but then it makes me remember why certain people aren't a part of my story anymore. It makes me keenly self-aware of my faults, and my triumphs, and the uncertainty of tomorrow. It makes me crave driving around my hometown with my head out the window, feeling the distinct prick of the night air on my face. But, above all, it makes me proud. I'm proud to love this little band with the eclectic, synth-pop/rock/acoustic ballad sound and the "unconvincing emo lyrics." I didn't think the first album could be topped, and I don't think it's fair to compare the two because they are so drastically different, but I like it when you sleep has changed the game. I'm so excited to be along for this ride.
And to Matty, George, Adam, and Ross: thank you. I love you.
Originally posted here