“Being Funny In A Foreign Language” Delivers Romance and Realism

“Being Funny In A Foreign Language” reels in the eccentric ways of The 1975, leaving behind the long winded monologues and lengthy album style of the previous four albums and replaces it with trailblazing pop-indie music.

Just in time for the upcoming Hallmark season, English-based boy band The 1975 offers an album speaking to love in an imperfect world with “Being Funny In A Foreign Language.” 

This near-perfect album features 43 minutes of work, boosting The 1975 to new levels of musical sophistication. Their combination of groovy ‘80s tunes and clever lyrics wrap their way around the listener’s hearts.

“Being Funny In A Foreign Language” reels in the eccentric ways of The 1975, leaving behind the long-winded monologues and lengthy album style of the previous four albums and replaces it with trailblazing pop-indie music.

The smooth peppering of drums by George Daniel accompanied by harmonic, soul-filled saxophones and Bruce Springsteen-esque guitar riffs produced by bassist Ross MacDonald and guitarist Adam Hann will force any foot to tap or hip to sway.

Lead vocalist Matty Healy supplies melodies that float seamlessly above the instrumentals. As the album unfurls, The 1975 takes listeners by the hand and guides them through their perspective of the 21st century, showing the ugliness and beauty behind love. 

The self-titled song “The 1975″ — now a tradition after four previous albums opening with a song of the same title — is an apology to future generations for the world they’re inheriting. 

“The 1975” addresses many pressing issues, including unrealistic beauty standards, mental health challenges and QAnon. The fast-flying piano keys are the star of the piece, but even they can’t muffle the bigger issues the band magnifies through each song.

The English indie band has always kept songs light and airy despite discussing heavy topics. Nothing exemplifies this more than the upbeat funkiness of “Happiness.” This song will have coming-of-age film producers overjoyed with its over-the-top depictions of teenage romance.

“She showed me what love is / I’m actin’ like I know myself / Oh, in case you didn’t notice / Oh, oh, I would go blind just to see you,” Healy, 33, sings.

“Looking for Somebody (To Love)” builds on the energy of “Happiness” with amplified percussion and a techno buildup that will make listeners’ heads bop. These deceitfully happy-go-lucky sounds are paired with lyrics about a common tragedy in the United States — mass shootings. 

“Lookin’ for somebody to love / Oh they ran, oh they ran / You should have seen how they ran when I was lookin’ for somebody to love / You should have seen it man, I was all bang, bang, bang, bang / Lookin’ for somebody to love,” Healy sings.

These lyrical complexities take The 1975 from being a typical boy band to a group of inspiring artists. 

The album jumps from the irony of being woke in “Part Of The Band” to “Oh Caroline,” a song that captures the passion of someone in love.

“Oh Caroline” will make couples swing into the other’s arms, but single people are likely to roll their eyes in contempt. The song’s warm-heartedness carries through track six, “I’m In Love With You,” the cheesiest song on the album.

The blandness of “I’m In Love With You” is disrupted by “All I Need To Hear,” which draws a deep depiction of lovesickness.

“I don’t need the crowds and the cheers / Oh just tell me you love me / ‘Cause that’s all I need to hear / I’ve been told so many times before / But hearing it from you means much more,” Healy sings over steady percussion and gentle piano. 

Healy’s vocals may leave listeners wistfully imagining romance for themselves, but it wouldn’t be an album by The 1975 if they didn’t address one of the real risks of love — the possibility of it ending.  

As the album’s final track, “When We Are Together” leaves listeners with a sincere picture of two people who may not have it all together but continue to choose each other. 

From start to finish, “Being Funny In A Foreign Language” offers listeners a chance to escape the real world and enter a space where life may not be perfect, but it will be full of love. 
“Being Funny In A Foreign Language” is available to stream on all major music platforms.

Featured image courtesy of Dirty Hit.

Julia Soeder

Julia Soeder