ALBUM REVIEW: The 1975 – Notes On A Conditional Form

The 1975 have never been a band who have liked to follow pre-set trends. They’ve always just done their own thing, and created music full of heavy emotions through a honest commentary on heartbreak, love and society.

Their fourth studio album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’ is a further exploration of their experimental layers, however this time they go too far and have formed a chaotic mess. 

There is no distinct cohesiveness that ties these tracks together. Instead it jumps between genres and ideas sporadically, and will give you serious whiplash.

From the political self-titled opener ‘The 1975’ which was a musical rendition of Greta Thunberg’s climate change speech, to the angsty chaos of ‘People’, and the instrumental film score of ‘The End (Music For Cars)’, they give you three completely different tracks within the first 10 minutes. And then over the next hour and ten minutes it gets even more chaotic and weird with electronic rave breakdowns and even a country influenced moment. Basically every genre makes an appearance on the album, but there was no statement or distinct reasoning as to why. 

In the lead up to the album, the British four piece released a lot of singles which has become a bit of an issue because they have no good surprises left on the album. It’s a struggle to pin-point any clear unreleased standouts, but I would have to say the country influenced ‘Roadkill’ is the one one that actually had me wanting to listen the whole way through.

If you want classic The 1975, then you aren’t really going to find it on this album. The only songs that do tap into the indie pop-rock sound is ‘Frail State Of Mind’, ‘Me & You Together Song’, ‘If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know) and ‘Guys’. The rest is a huge DIY exploration. Like, ‘I Think There’s Something You Should Know’, ‘Shiny Collabone’ and ‘Yeah I Know’ are full EDM instrumentals that I never thought I would hear on a record from this band. 

This whole album is a disappointing affair that will leave you with a lot of unanswered questions like, why is there no cohesiveness? and what do they actually want me to think about while listening to this record? 

Usually I walk away from a The 1975 album with a lot of thought invoking topics and reflective feelings, but this time I just walked away confused.