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The Earliest Bird: Top New Recorded Release The 1975’s “Being Funny In A Foreign Language” 10-14-22 – 10-20-22 Reviewed

Matty Healy’s parent were television stars in the UK and had celebrities over all the time, which gave the childhood Matt the opportunity to tell his parents “‘My biggest fear is becoming Sting”. Everybody’s greatest fear is becoming Sting but Matt had a better chance of doing it then most of us: the bleached blonde Gordon metamorphized into a scrawny, post-punk rock and roll superstar with sold out tours of the States and beyond and the fame he dreamt of without the simultaneously unctuous and self important motormouth MC for The 1975.

I take my great niece Juliet to see The 1975 whenever they hit town and The 1975 on November 7th at MSG will be our second time at the venerable venue though the best was at Gov Ball in 2019 (here), and there was an excellent Barclay’s Center gig somewhere (2016?) and as for next month? I am not certain but while I concluded that using producer Jack Antonoff to focus Matt’s easy distractions on their latest album, Being Funny In A Foreign Language, was a crappy move, Antonoff did what he was paid to do, changing the always long-winded Matt (the bands 2020 release is nearly twice the length), getting id of the ambient sounds and spoken word that got in the way and letting the songs work if they must. And for the most part they do work.

Healy takes on love in the age of social media and while he founds it wanting as always he is still all for love, with the self-evident synth and beats “Looking For Somebody (To Love )” no less than album highlight “I’m In Love With You” acoustic guitars plus electronica. Better still is the magical “Wintering” and if the four singles weren’t my choice they were far from, say, the Greta Thunberg spoken word on 2020’s version of leadoff “The 1975”.

Part of that central place on which the album exists is a pleasurable pure pop for now people that should be very effective on stage, but even if it isn’t not only do The 1975 prove their ability to move headfirst into as big a pop league as they will ever manage, but also cements Jack’s position as a huge mainstream producer of pop rock…. and Matty as the new love sting!

Grade: A-

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