There’s no escaping the fate of the modern star, a moral compromise that means tacit acceptance of being equally hated and adored. Whether it’s the liberation or ruination of Glastonbury by Stormzy, or Lana Del Rey telling it like it is (Or isn’t) for women in complicated relationships, the price of fame is no longer pap intrusion but also swinging bipolarity at the hands of the commentariat.
The 1975’s Matt Healy is now another member of this god tier of musicians, put there by the quartet’s gradual transition into articulate spokespeople for a generation frequently either ignored or patronised by the establishment.
Healy is first and foremost an ideas man, his wandering muse the bedrock from which 2018’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships spiralled off into creative overdrive, with impressively modernistic results. It’s successor has a similar attention span, the twenty two songs darting from genre to genre, rarely settling into anything like a pattern.
To an extent the jumble stems from a multifarious recording process, but to be so ambitious and dysfunctional however is an art few have mastered this well in recent times. As a consequence one minute they’re suited and booted boy band throwbacks on If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know), the next angry sociopaths on the thrashing People. Inevitably for the unfamiliar its a disorientating ride, with one or two experiments which could’ve easily been left off the 80 minute run time. But Healy knows though he’s now of sufficient stature to make the listener play his game, a tricky hit-and-run of styles and invitations to think.
With its creators looking at greatness, Notes on a Conditional Form confirms The 1975’s basic tools are empathy, consciousness and nearly all the music made in the last thirty years. And you can tweet that.
You can read the full review here.