Saturday, July 30th, 2022

The 1975 – Part of the Band

Fun fact: Healy actually named this song after a sitcom he dreamed his dad was in…


Aaron Bergstrom: I like my frontmen like I like my coffee: meticulously packaged and sold to me via so many niche cultural signifiers that I have completely lost the ability to distinguish between marks of legitimate quality and pretentious nonsense. The fact that I love it anyway makes me feel weirdly complicit in something.

Thomas Inskeep: If the Killers were lacking Brandon Flowers’s charisma, and forgot to write a song, it might sound like this wet, low-sodium saltine cracker.

Harlan Talib Ockey: I don’t think I’m ever going to like this lyrical style. “Part of the Band” is a solipsistic, pretentious supercut of Very Online Buzzwords arranged like it’s supposed to reveal some deep personal truth. Musically, this is so evidently inspired by Bon Iver that you can even pinpoint the specific songs that spawned each synth and saxophone flourish. There’s also a strange “Viva La Vida” flavor to the strings, which makes for an incongruous and uncomfortable combination that doesn’t quite seem to know how sincere it wants to be.

Hannah Jocelyn: Don’t promise me “Viva La Vida” and give me “Stave it off, 1,2,3”! Pre-Norman Fucking Rockwell, I would have loved a maximalist, Antonoff-produced 1975 record, and if this was a band that didn’t write about Vaccinista tote bag chic baristas, “Paul Simon meets Bon Iver” would sell me unconditionally. There’s a lot to appreciate in what we do have (thanks Manny Marroquin!), but the self-conscious 70s rock pastiche of the chorus still grates, and Antonoff’s muted-cacaphony shtick — which only barely worked on the ten minute “All Too Well” — feels less like a trademark than a crutch. Go listen to Gang of Youths’ “Returner” instead, which does the better parts of this song backwards and in heels Australia.

Alfred Soto: “Am I ironically woke? The butt of my joke?/Or am I just some post-coke, average, skinny bloke?” — boy, Matt Healy wants an epitaph. The mishmash of homosexual confessions, clever argot, nonsense and string sections isn’t as compelling as previous chapters; the arrangement, as woozy as a reveler staggering out of a party at sunrise, needs shaping.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The 1975’s albums so far: thesis (their mediocre debut album), antithesis (their very good second album), synthesis (their good but over-thought third album), self-parody (their mess of a fourth album.) If “Part of the Band” is a representative sample of LP 5, we’re entering an unprecedented era of self-parody of the self-parody, with a band that has ventured so far into its own mythos that there’s nothing left beyond haphazardly scattered imagery and self-reference. I’d be happier with it if there was a hook or anything resembling one. Instead, we’ve got Jack Antonoff on production, suffocating our boys with the same respectable adult alternative material he hands out to all of his sophisticated clients. There’s maybe one line and one drum fill I enjoy here. The rest is detritus.

Reader average: [3] (1 vote)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

2 Responses to “The 1975 – Part of the Band”

  1. DJ Sabrina has writing credits on Happiness…

  2. And it’s much better!