The 1975’s “Being Funny In a Foreign Language” Album Review

The 1975’s highly anticipated album, “Being Funny In a Foreign Language,” was released Oct. 14, 2022, and now that fans have had some time to sink it all in, the verdict has been reached: the musical masterpiece really is “The 1975 At Their Very Best,” as their tour name suggests.

Moments before the start of The 1975’s Madison Square Garden show on Nov. 7, 2022, as part of the “The 1975 At Their Very Best” tour. Photo by Natalie St. Denis.

The pop rock band from the UK, composed of lead singer Matty Healy, bassist Ross MacDonald, guitarist Adam Hann and drummer George Daniel, made its mark in 2002. Over the past two decades, the group has ventured through various musical styles while keeping their lyrics politically inclined; a true charm of The 1975. BFIAFL – the acronym now associated with the band’s fifth studio album, a traditional way of nicknaming their notoriously lengthy album names – stayed true to the band’s lyrical charm, but also demonstrated their fearlessness when it comes to straying from the norm.

23-year-old Pamela Sanchez runs a fan account out of Mexico City where she posts media provided by fans, her own content and information from official social networks affiliated with The 1975, she said in a written message. She began her account in January 2020.

The fan of four years, believes the band used a completely different creative process with this album. She said this record focused more on having fun and just being The 1975.

Matty Healy performing on the roof of The 1975’s stage setup depicting the layout of a house at their Madison Square Garden concert on Nov. 7, 2022. Photo by Natalie St. Denis.

Track one: “The 1975” – which follows their self-titled tradition – serves as if it’s a letter of intent for the rest of the album that follows. The phrase “And it’s about time. And this is what it looks like.” comes across as a blunt statement that the album is about time and the rest of the album contains the contents of what that looks like. But these lyrics may also beg for necessary change in modern issues like climate change or gun-violence, through the tone of the frustrated saying “it’s about time.”

Track two: “Happiness” radiates a vibe just the same as its title. Sanchez said this track is her favorite because “it shows the essence and rhythm of what is really The 1975.”

Track three: “Looking For Somebody (To Love)” offers a beat that could not get any more upbeat, making it difficult to not bop around to its `80s-like riffs.

Track four: “Part of the Band” was the album’s debut single. This tune offers a mellow, sophisticated listen with strings taking the instrumental lead, making it stand out amongst the rest of the record.

Track five: “Oh Caroline” is one of those types of classy love songs everyone is likely to have related to at some point in their love life. The pleading letter to a love gone wrong features magical chimes and bongos that set the sappy vibe.

Track six: “I’m In Love With You” features backup vocals from singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers. Yet another love song, but it still remains just as catchy as those before it. Matty Healy’s vocals relay the lovestruck message of ‘I’m in love and I want to shout it from the hills.’

Track seven: “All I Need To Hear” slows things down to a simple, nostalgic piano tune. It speaks for the hopeless romantics out there.

Track eight: “Wintering” plays like a conversation layered on top of a peppy guitar strum. Electric guitar wails during the break in lyrics to add depth to the fast-paced rhythm.

Track nine: “Human Too” is a stripped down arrangement mainly driven by light piano work and horns to produce a blues-like melody on top of its simple message of what it means to just be a human that makes mistakes.

Track ten: “About You” is a passionate ode to the all-consuming power of love and its ability to completely take over the mind even when it is past due. Carly Holt, the wife of the band’s guitarist, Adam Hann, sings on this track, providing a melancholy, angelic duet alongside Healy.

Track eleven: “When We Are Together” is the sappy product of the homey feeling that comes with that special person who offers a kind of comfort unlike anything else. Hence the cozy, warm atmosphere the soft guitar strumming transports the mind to.

Viral lyrics like “don’t f*** it, you Muppet,” “woman, you are 64-years-old,” “you ask about the cows wearing my sweater,” “you’re making an aesthetic out of not doing well” and “I know some ‘Vaccinista tote bag chic baristas’ Sitting east on their Communista keisters,” are some of the linguistic gems The 1975 minds bring to the musical sphere.

Matty Healy performing at The 1975’s Madison Square Garden concert on Nov. 7, 2022. Photo by Natalie St. Denis.

Jokes aside, their tracks are far from lacking depth and intellect. Every time a song is replayed, a listener wanders down a new thought provoking path as they unpack the intricate lyrics The 1975 never fails to provide.

Fans like Ebrar Ozaydin, 21, of Antalya, Turkey, are devoted to unveiling the words that speak so loud in The ‘75’s songs. Since the release of the band’s previous album, “Notes On A Conditional Form” in May of 2020, Ozaydin has been designing tattoos based off of the musical tracks, she said in a written statement.

The Antalya Fashion Academy graduate decided to return to her love of drawing during the COVID-19 lockdown. She officially created her tattoo design account on Instagram in September 2020 under the handle “the1975tattoodesigns” where viewers can DM her to purchase a design at an affordable cost, some as low as 10€ (about $10.58). She also takes commissions, during which she will work very closely with a customer to create a personalized tattoo.

Tattoo designs by Ebrar Ozaydin. Reach out to @the1975tattoodesigns on Instagram with any inquiries. Photo provided by Ebrar Ozaydin.

“Even though most designs I post there (on social media) are worth way more, it’s a fun project inspired and moved by the new album that helps people have very good designs for a cheap price,” Ozaydin said.

The 1975 fan of nine years values their creativity, being an artist herself.

“As someone who evolved and grew up with them, I’m proud of them and how they’re so brave and courageous in doing this the way they’re doing: sincere, real and creatively free. I don’t think we give enough credit to how punk they’re while being unapologetically themselves and real. Not many artists can do that,” Ozaydin said.

She has even created visible soundwave designs of each song, which show just how much the music speaks to her. “Being Funny In A Foreign Language” was no different. She personally believes it to be a masterpiece.

“This album happened at the best time it could have. It was when I needed it the most and how I needed it. I don’t have any expectations from art and artists and I didn’t for this one either, but somehow it is everything I need right now,” Ozaydin said.

The 1975’s Madison Square Garden concert on Nov. 7, 2022. Photo by Natalie St. Denis.

“Being Funny In a Funny Language” encompasses all that The 1975 is and what they bring to the table that is the modern music world. No other band can provide catchy tunes mixed with an underlying message of action, need for change and hope, quite like The ‘75 does.

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