With the release of their sophomore album, we take you through a track by track review of what the music industry is calling 2016’s “most unpredictable album” – I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It.
Reworking the same track from the first album to fit into the aesthetic of this “pink era”, the opening track gets additional depth and intensity provided by the backing vocal harmonies of a gospel choir, and it serves as a gentle introduction to what can be expected from the album.
The first single to be released off the album, Love Me is the kind of song that takes a little getting used to, but grows on you more and more each time you listen to it. Written as a “post-ironic” attack on the 21st century’s obsession with fame and celebrity, the single is about frontman Matty Healy “making an observation on the glaringly obvious superficial elements that surround my life and the culture that I feed into.” Watch the music video here.
// Favorite lyric: We’ve just come to represent a decline in the standards we accept //
Never been one to shy away from discussing about his personal struggles, UGH! details Matty’s personal addiction and struggles with cocaine. An incredibly clever song with an up-beat tempo and catchy lyrics, the single chronicles addiction as it really is, without indulging in too much self-pity. Watch the music video here.
// Favorite lyric: It’s just a simple diarrhetic that prevents the empathetic from being just and giving it up //
A subject that everyone can relate to, A Change Of Heart talks about the moment in a relationship when you truly see your partner for who they are, and not who you thought they were, and the stages of falling out of love that come after. With references back to ‘The City‘, ‘Robbers‘ and ‘Sex‘ off their first album, the song is sentimental, self-aware and truly beautiful.
// Favorite lyric: And you were coming across as clever then you lit the wrong end of your cigarette //
She’s American discusses the difficulties of falling in love with a girl culturally different from him. With lyrics like “If she says I’ve got to fix my teeth then she’s so American”, Matty comments on the stereotype people from the UK and America perceive each other (i.e. the lack of dental hygiene common with the Brit lifestyle vs the Americans obsession with perfect teeth).
// Favorite lyric: Don’t fall in love with the moment and think you’re in love with the girl //
Known to be very controversial on the topic of faith and religion and the existence of God, the song finds Matty questioning his lack of belief. Inspired by gospel choir music with a hint of jazzy vibe, If I Believe You is definitely in our opinions one of the most underrated singles on the album.
// Favorite lyric: I thought I’d met you once or twice but that was just because the dabs were nice and opening up //
Based on the title alone, one might think that Please Be Naked is a song similar to “Sex” off the first album. But with melancholic piano chords that tugs on your heartstrings, this sombre track is relaxing and easy on the ears, and we love it.
Inspired by the last line from their 2012 track “Facedown”, the way the vocals and instruments go together make Lost My Head hauntingly and achingly beautiful. A few tears may have been shed.
An insight into the workings of the frontman’s mind, The Ballad of Me and My Brain talks about the state of his mental health as he copes with being the famed rock star that he is (with references to how a trip to Sainsbury’s that would normally be considered as something so simple and mundane, is no longer so because of his image and popularity). Raw, personal and an extremely powerful track.
// Favorite lyric: And what a shame you’ve lost a brain that you never had //
Let’s face it, breakups are hard. Whether you were the one broken up with or you were the one who did the breaking up, there’s still a feeling of melancholy that comes about when you see the person you once called your world, with somebody else. And the guys have perfectly translated that feeling into words with this track. Definitely one of our favorites.
// Favorite lyric: I don’t want your body but I hate to think about you with somebody else //
An observation about how the media and popular culture impacts our youth, Matty begins his tirade about how mass media nowadays is no longer providing anything of substance and never really anymore focusing on the real issues at hand. An incredibly clever song that is extremely important in this day and age.
// Favorite lyric: I’m the Greek economy of cashing intellectual cheques //
The title track of the sophomore album, it was presumed to be a proper song with lyrics when Matty posted a picture of the poem on his Twitter account. So, we were pleasantly surprised when we found it to be a largely instrumental track. The frontman has said that the phrase was something he originally said to a past girlfriend, although it isn’t as sweet and romantic as it may first appear to be.
On of the more pop-influenced tracks on the album, The Sound is filled with smart witty lyrics and jibes at the music industry’s and peoples’ critics, judgement and opinions of the band and the type of music they make. Also, we’re all for the amazing guitar solo by Adam Hann. Watch the music video here.
// Favorite lyric: But you’ll call me when you’re bored and you’re playing with yourself //
Singing about finding a girl he believed would make things “right” in his world (Let me tell you ’bout this girl, I thought she’d rearrange my world), this song turns unbelievably sad when Matty sings about the point where he realizes he was wrong about the whole relationship. (You got excited and now you find out that your ‘girl’ won’t even get you undressed or care about your beating chest)
// Favorite lyric: You got excited and now you find out that your ‘girl’ won’t even get you undressed or care about your beating chest //
Focusing on a girl with an excessive drug habit, Matty writes about meeting her at a party and observing her flirtatious and materialistic behavior. Later on, the song sees the girl’s perspective of the frontman, addressing how Matty romanticizes heroin (likening it to “Paris”), perhaps representing a simpler time in his life that he would like to go back to.
// Favorite lyric: She had to leave because she couldn’t hack it, not enough noise and too much racket //
Tearjerker. Really, you should only listen to this if you have a box of tissues handy. Written about the death of his grandma, Matty reminisces about the time spent with her and thinking about all the things he would say to her if she would just walk through the door again, and also regretting the things that weren’t said when she was alive. A heartbreaking ode to his Nana, Matty uses the song to find solace, claiming “this simple tune, will always keep me close to you / the crowds will sing their voices ring, and it’s like you never left”
// Favorite lyric: But I’m bereft you see, I think you can tell I haven’t been doing too well //
Closing the album with a track with a mood just as sombre as the track before, She Lays Down sees Matty singing about his mother’s postnatal depression after she gave birth to him, as she seeks out different outlets to help her “alleviate the pain“. A melancholic but fitting end to a wildly audacious and highly entertaining album.
// Favorite lyric: And in the end, she chose cocaine but it couldn’t fix her brain //