**** (out of four)
Every year there’s an album so immensely catchy and listenable that I admittedly don’t care what’s being sung about. That doesn’t necessarily mean the lyrics are bad—it means I probably wouldn’t notice.
Recent examples include We All Have Hooks for Hands' "The Shape of Energy" and Arkells’ “Michigan Left” and now the full-length, self-titled debut from Manchester quartet the 1975 (whose lyrics are perfectly fine, by the way). Unlike those aforementioned, lesser-known records, “The 1975” has breakout hit written all over it, and you may already have heard “Sex” or “Chocolate” on the radio. Happily, this record is absolutely loaded with songs like that, putting a glossy sheen on dance-rock that samples from the ‘80s without sounding too enamored with nostalgia. (It is fun to think of some of these sounds’ crossover with the “Drive” score, though.)
Singer Matty Healy doesn’t belt any harder than he needs to, hitting the sweet spot of stories of youthful discovery that could soundtrack any number of romantic comedies not good enough to deserve the songs that enhance them. People will be belting out the incredibly singable “The City” and “Settle Down” and “Girls” before you know it, so hop on board and don’t feel bad about giving a mainstream act the attention it deserves.
This is one of those albums you don’t even consider skipping a track and feel ready to listen to all over again right away. In fact, between the 1975 and the upcoming full-length debut from Haim, September delivers hungry music fans not one but two new favorite bands. Awesome.
In concert: Oct. 19 at Lincoln Hall
Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.