The 1975’s second studio album brings not only a lengthy title but also ambitious and spectacular pop tracks. I like it when you sleep… is a streamlined yet experimental, funky dance-rock album. It is musically diverse ranging from acoustic strings to electronic synths, lyrically exciting, more emotional and enthusiastic than its antecedent The 1975.

‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’ by The 1975 – Album Review

The 1975 frontman Matty Healy confidently marketed this album as something unpredictable and challenging and indeed it is just that. With 17 songs of varied length and atmosphere, I like it when you sleep… demands from the listener to embrace whatever is offered to them during the album’s full hour and fifteen minutes. The 1975’s sophomore album contains the occasional absurd and nonchalant lyrics in line with the easygoing pop vibes in most of the tracks. At the same time, however, some of their lyrical themes in the album show unexpected depth, including dealing with the various pressure of modern society — searching for one’s true self and for genuine intrapersonal connection.

The album opens with an ambient prelude titled “The 1975,” which likely serves as a vestige of the band’s debut album of the same name. Followed by the Bowie-sounding electro-pop hit “Love Me” immediately establishes the break with the band’s past sound. The track amicably converses with iconic David Bowie songs like “Fame” and “Fashion” in the guitar riffs and arguably in its lyrics too. The song may seem a little superficial in its dance-pop vibes, but it also sets the atmosphere that other parts of the album will either reaffirm of dismiss. Its counterpart “Loving Someone,” for example, comes about halfway through the album and stands in stark contrast to the first single, assuming a more personal tone. “Loving Someone” is quieter and more contained but just as emotionally charged. This contrast outlines the impulsive artistic vision that The 1975 had for this record and at the same time being difficult to pin down generically is rendered their signature.

The title track, which follows after “Loving Someone,” is exactly the dynamic ambient interlude that one might expect from such a title. It also happens to be the longest track on the album and one of the most musically varied. The 1975 indulge us in persistent layering of intricate instrumentals, beats and synths. It is a microcosm of the album itself with equal parts of desire and alienation.

With I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, The 1975 put their work in the hands of the listeners, trusting them to be able to handle whatever they have to deliver. Their second album may seem chaotic and messy, but it is strongest precisely in its impulsivity. This is a true post-modern work, dynamic and unpredictable.

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