The 1975’s fourth studio album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’ is, hardly surprisingly, a vapid, drawn-out ordeal of self-indulgence. Appalling lyrics, pointless filler and ham-fisted attempts at being profound are all stops on a guided tour of the Freudian nightmare of Matty Healy’s head.
The Cheshire band are now as well-known for their off-the-stage statements as they are for their music since arriving on the scene seven years ago, but have garnered a fiercely loyal following that defends their every move- and provide fuel to some of the most bizarre delusions of grandeur seen in recent music history.
This 22-track, almost hour and a half long record is exactly what it appears to be before you’ve even listened to it- totally bloated and inevitably filled with the kind of poor quality that would be cut out of any sensible album.
Two of the tracks that provide the most respite from the Healy sewage pipe don’t even have much to do with him- those being the opener featuring a powerful monologue from climate activist Greta Thunberg, and the penultimate track ‘Don’t Worry’- written by Matty’s father Tim.
The explosive second song ‘People’ is on the verge of being actually quite good, but the shine is very much taken of it by the fact that everything following it has absolutely no musical or lyrical link whatsoever.
The first two sides of ‘NOACF’ are padded out by random orchestral or acoustic arrangements, which are nice enough to listen to but clearly don’t add anything worthwhile. The same can be said for the second two sides, but this time they’re filled with painfully dull droning over the top of garage beats.
Almost every song finds a way to piss you off: ‘Yeah I Know’ feels like an involuntary twitch, ‘Roadkill’ features Healy referencing his ‘tucked-up erection’, and ‘Tonight (I Wish I Was Your Boy)’ is about to be on the end of a lawsuit from The Temptations for its unavoidable similarity to the song ‘Just My Imagination’.
Perhaps the most annoying element of the whole record is Healy’s lyrics- which, when they’re not cringey or complete nonsense, sound like he’s thought of a word and then googled what rhymes with it. That’s not songwriting, that’s poetry you write for your girlfriend when you’re in junior school.
It’s important to remember that this album wouldn’t seem so bad if The 1975 didn’t hype up their own supposed genius so much. Thunberg’s track shows us what being thoughtful and profound really is, and everything The 1975 follow with is guff and bollocks that they try to dress up as prophetic. Please don’t waste your time here.