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Notes on a Conditional Form by The 1975 (Review)

‘Notes on a Conditional Form’ is the newest release from Manchester pop rock band The 1975 and is by far their most experimental and creative album to date.

Album Artwork for Notes On A Conditional Form by The 1975
Credit: The 1975/Dirty Hit

The lengthy 22 track album was written across headline tours in over 16 studios and had been delayed multiple times but after a few listens, you realise it was definitely worth waiting for.

The 4 piece band have never been known to play it safe but Notes takes them to a new level of experimentation featuring an applaudable range of different genres, from folky twang with country influences on controversial track ‘Roadkill’ to ‘Nothing Revealed / Everything Denied’ a personal favourite influenced by gospel featuring a choir who accompany Healy in singing “life feels like a lie I need something to be true, is there anybody out there?” followed by deep manipulated vocals from the frontman, the song on paper sounds like it shouldn’t work but it just does.

Influence from ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’ the bands last album is certainly noticeable with similar direction of dubstep, sax solos and stunning ballads all apparent.

‘Shiny Collarbone’ gives the backend of the album a little kick and pulls your interest in straight away with its danceable grungy sound. It sits between tracks ‘Tonight (I Wish I Was Your Boy)’ which Healy described to Apple Music as “An ode to early Max Martin, late-‘90spop” and 80’s pop infused, fan favourite ‘If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)’ featuring the melodic vocals of FKA Twigs.

Production wise, Notes surpasses their previous albums as the most complex and experimental music to date, its chaotic almost but filled with lighter beautiful moments like ‘The end (music for cars)’ and ‘Having No Head’ both stunning operatic based interludes on the album something The 1975 have proved they do well on ‘LostMyHead’ from their sophomore album I like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It.

After experimenting with sound the album ends with two sweeter ballad style tracks ‘Don’t Worry’ is a song written by Tim Healy in the 90’s and features his vocals on the father and son collaboration. They sing “Don’t worry darling the sun will shine through” certainly a track to pull the heartstrings. Guys is next another fan favourite that debuted in the UK tour earlier this year it talks about the love in the band, notable lyrics include “The moment that we started a band was the best thing that ever happened.”