Song of the Day #5,282: ‘Part of the Band’ – The 1975

Guest blogger Daniel continues his countdown of the year’s top albums…

Best Albums of 2022 – #9
Being Funny in a Foreign Language – The 1975

“I like my men like I like my coffee, Full of soy milk and so sweet it won’t offend anybody whilst staining the pages of the nation.”

I thought about ending my review for this record right here. This small sampling of Matt Healy’s inspired infectious lyricism throughout this album proves its worthy inclusion on any top 10 list. However, it’s more than just perfectly executed extended similes that cement this album as one of my favorites of the year.

It’s rare that I’d use the term stylized to describe an album, as the term is most typically used when describing film. But there is a cinematic quality to this album that begets its use.

The band starts with the bold decision to treat its first track almost like a reintroduction as they name the album opener after themselves. This acts almost as a rhetorical question: “So you think you’ve heard of The 1975?”. Think again.

The lyrics sound like snappy Sorkin dialogue with a plethora of quotable moments that go by at a breakneck speed over tantalizing acoustic guitar and piano. There is no fear of straying too far from the sound that may have earned them their popularity as they tread into Soul Ballad territory on a track like ‘All I Need to Hear’ and touch upon R&B influences on ‘Human Too.’ These ventures are performed to perfection with individual instruments stealing the scene nearly constantly. The bass work on ‘Human Too’ (especially at the 1 minute mark) I can best describe as dreamy.

Today’s SOTD relies on Ross Macdonald’s expertise not only on bass guitar, but double bass as well. The entire first verse is driven by his precise strokes on the double bass. However, it’s when the chorus kicks in that the track earns its right to serve as the representation of what this album does best.

The double bass is stripped away. Heck, the entire tempo changes. In the face of this welcome surprise, we are greeted warmly by acoustic guitar and beautifully layered harmonies. Matt Healy has never sounded so sweet or earnest.

Immediately following the chorus, the double bass comes back and more intensely intelligent lines follow. In truth, with the amount of TikToks I’d seen praising this record prior to giving it a full listen, I came in somewhat cynical. It’s a profound moment when your cynicism makes way for true delight in discovering something so original.

[Verse 1: Matthew Healy]
She was part of the Air Force, I was part of the band
I always used to bust into her hand
In my, my, my imagination
I was living my best life, living with my parents
Way before the paying penance and verbal propellants
And my, my, my cancellations, hm, yeah

[Verse 2: Matthew Healy]
And I fell in love with a boy, it was kinda lame
I was Rimbaud and he was Paul Verlaine
In my, my, my imagination
So many cringes and heroin binges
I was coming off the hinges, living on the fringes
Of my, my, my imagination, oh, yeah

[Pre-Chorus: Matthew Healy]
Enough about me now
“You gotta talk about the people, baby”
(But that’s kind of the idea)

[Chorus: Matthew Healy]
Now I’m home, somewhere I don’t like
Eating stuff off of motorbikes
Cumming to her lookalikes
I can’t get the language right
Just tell me what’s unladylike

[Verse 3: Matthew Healy]
I know some Vaccinista tote bag chic baristas
Sitting in east on their communista keisters
Writing about their ejaculations
“I like my men like I like my coffee
Full of soy milk and so sweet, it won’t offend anybody”
Whilst staining the pages of The Nation, oh, yeah

[Pre-Chorus: Matthew Healy]
A Xanax and a Newport
“Well I take care of my kids”, she said

[Chorus: Matthew Healy & Jack Antonoff]
The worst inside of us begets
That feeling on the internet
It’s like someone intended it
(Like advertising cigarettes)
A diamond in the rough begets
The diamond with a scruff you get

[Interlude]

[Outro: Matthew Healy]
Am I ironically woke? The butt of my joke?
Or am I just some post-coke, average, skinny bloke
Calling his ego imagination?
I’ve not picked up that in a thousand four hundred days
And nine hours and sixteen minutes, babe
It’s kind of my daily iteration

7 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,282: ‘Part of the Band’ – The 1975

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    What a great review!

    I’ve often said that Clay could be a professional music critic if he ever wanted to pursue that as his day job. I think you may well share that inherited talent.

  2. Clay says:

    This is a band, and album, my whole family had been enjoying in recent weeks. A rare four quadrant hit in my house.

  3. Maddie says:

    So glad you checked this album out and gathered your thoughts on it so eloquently. I especially like the Sorkin dialogue comparison. As a big lyrics fan, The 1975 has always struck a funny balance for me of having some fascinating lines/verses that are often difficult to interpret or even understand until further listening.

    This is definitely the first of The 1975’s albums that I’ve been listening to since it first released – in large part because Jack Antonoff was in the loop here and I trust that man to produce a great record. This was no exception.

    Also worth pointing out that every one of The 1975’s albums start with a song called “The 1975” which adjusts lyrics and styles to introduce the themes of that particular work. It’s a cool touch!

  4. Peg says:

    Wow what a great review! I know nothing about this album but I love the review and I agree with Dana that you share with Clay an “inherited talent “ and could be a music critic ❤️

  5. Peg says:

    Interesting comments Maddie!

  6. Amy says:

    Enjoy the sound of today’s SOTD and am curious to hear more from this band. Maddie has introduced me to a couple of their songs on playlists over the years, and I’ve liked everything I’ve heard.

    During the final verse, I was reminded of how REM often intentionally left the lyrics unintelligible and allowed Michael Stipe’s vocal performance to be like another instrument. Also intrigued by the snippets of dialogue throughout.

  7. Andrea Katz says:

    Gee, Daniel, you write so well. Kudos on the review, especially the last sentence. I am charmed. The song was meh for me.

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