“Being Funny In A Foreign Language” is the fifth studio album by The 1975. With an alternative pop sound that is so evidently their own, The 1975 comes back with a fresh perspective on life, love and the anxieties that come along with fame. But the band doesn’t take themselves too seriously either. With subtle jokes sprinkled throughout the otherwise introspective lyrics, the 1975 successfully “makes an aesthetic out of not doing well.”
At its core, “Being Funny” is an album inspired by love. The sound of the album is pretty typical of “The 1975” with its bright tones and soft vocals. Lyrically, Matty Healy dives into not only the life-altering experience of falling in love, but what it means to navigate growing up in a band. Tracks like “Looking For Somebody ( To Love )” insinuate that love can save our culture from some of its darkest issues, one of those being the skyrocketing number of school shootings.
Pop bangers like “Happiness” and “I’m In Love With You” are among the most cliche tracks in The 1975’s discography, but well done nonetheless. If done by any other band, “I’m In Love With You” would likely sound repetitive and boring considering the same line (“I’m in love with you”) is sung about twenty times throughout the song, but with Healy’s voice and groovy instrumentals it would be difficult for this song to not put anybody in a good mood.
Despite all the somewhat giddy love songs, The 1975 doesn’t stray from deep cuts and vulnerability on this album. In “Part of The Band” Healy sings “Am I ironically woke? The butt of my joke? / Or am I just some post-coke, average, skinny bloke / Calling his emo imagination?” Healy’s self awareness is captivating even if not extremely relatable. In “Human Too,” Healy writes about his relationship with the media in a way he hasn’t been before. Healy slows it down, opting for a piano track instead of the typical guitar sound, and begs the media to believe him when he says, “I’ve always been the same.” But just as quickly as he takes us deep into the pages of his journal, Healy bounces back with another upbeat track or two. Personally, I enjoy the emotional whiplash.
Along with vulnerable lyricism, a particularly well-done aspect of The 1975’s latest record is the production, with a third of the credit going to Bleachers frontman and producer Jack Antonoff. Antonoff’s work on this particular album has The 1975’s latest tracks sounding a little similar to Antonoff’s own band but in a surprisingly pleasant way. “All I Need To Hear” is the Antonoff produced ballad I didn’t know I needed.
“About You” is a standout track of the album, featuring Antonoff’s signature movie soundtrack-esque chorus. I think any song with the lyrics “Do you think I have forgotten / About you” is sure to hit deep, but this one is special. The track features a stunning duet with Carly Holt, who sings from the female perspective. It’s the kind of song that makes me feel like everything is going to fall into place at the right moment. Thank you, Matty.
For such a deeply introspective album, the band gets to the point in just 11 songs. “Being Funny” left me feeling connected to The 1975 in a way I hadn’t anticipated or even thought was possible. It’s a work of music which I can see myself coming back to for years to come. Also, the sax closing out the album? Beautiful.