I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It. The poignant, yet slightly pretentious title of The 1975’s sophomore album describes a love for something that can be seen as so ordinary, which may be the theme of the record. After releasing their eponymous début record in 2013, the band has returned bolder than ever, this time with a strong influence from 80s rock bands. While the album has dazzling moments, it also comes with some that don’t have as much glitz.
The album kicks off with a self-titled track, “The 1975,” an album intro that is almost identical to the opening track of the same name on their previous effort. The track allows for a continuation of sorts for the band, showing that they’re still going to flirt with their previous sound.
“Love Me,” the album’s first single, is next. The song is brash and funky, driven by a somewhat irritating guitar riff. It’s a great way to discuss the band’s rise to fame, as the song basically turns the idea of a celebrity on its head. The album progresses into a more updated take on nostalgic rock, with tracks “She’s American” and the grooving “This Must Be My Dream” showing that the band is able to infuse the alternative sensibilities of their previous record into the pop dwellings of I Like It When You Sleep.
The band does not completely abandon their prior selves, however. Fans of the band will notice that the quartet continues to include their intricate and deeply metaphorical lyrics, an aspect seen on their self-titled début LP, The 1975. Each lyric is expertly crafted, providing the band with their most introspective album thus far.
Lyrics can only do so much, though. On I Like It When You Sleep, the record clocks in at 17 tracks, a hefty amount for a standard edition album. The album is by no means a bad record, in fact I prefer it to their début.
However, the record manages to hit a wall of sorts, and it has a hard time finding a way to pick up after the first few songs. With a few pointless interludes thrown in that last for way longer than they should, the hour-long record can honestly begin to feel like it’s double that length.
Despite the lull, I Like It When You Sleep manages to encapsulate where The 1975 should be in 2016. The album is bold, sharp-witted, and a proper follow-up to their début. While that first record grabbed the world’s attention, this one will definitely keep fans glued to them, due to album highlights like “Somebody Else,” managing to be the perfect blend of pop and rock with just a hint of a groove. And with a band like The 1975, a little groove never killed nobody.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
— Jake Johnson, Music Blogger