We’ve only been waiting a whole bloody year but it’s FINALLY here: Notes on a Conditional Form, the fourth studio album by The 1975. After extending the release date and changing the album art multiple times, fans were desperate to hear the finished record and, on 22nd May, their wish came true.
The band have been teasing NOACF since July 2019 after giving activist Greta Thunberg her musical debut on opening track ‘The 1975’. Following this, the band released a further seven singles to give the fans a taster of what was to come, though each single brought more and more confusion of what the final outcome would be like. Each single had a completely different vibe and seemingly different genre to the ones before. From the shouty punk political anthem ‘People’, to the 2000’s pop-rock style of ‘Me & You Together Song’ and the chilled out country vibe of ‘Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America’, no two songs were the same.
Although we were all left confused and wondering what NOACF was bringing, I don’t think any of us quite expected the amount of musical whiplash we felt when we finally got our first listen. It covers every genre under the sun, from typical The 1975 electronic sad-boy bangers like ‘Frail State of Mind’ and ‘I Think Theres Something You Should Know’ to the lo-fi ‘Shiny Collarbone’ and gospel-chorused ‘Nothing Revealed/ Everything Denied’. You could be in any mood or any situation and this album will give you something to fit that. The boys certainly have pushed the boat with this one, creating what seems like a compilation album of every genre ever made, all done by The 1975.
There is a certain awareness on the record, a tip of the hat to the long-time fans who have waited so long. ‘I Like it When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’ and ‘A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships’ are a nod to the second and third albums, and much to the joy of all, there is the all important sax-solo in 80’s synth-pop tune ‘If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)’. This one is the best yet (I’ll give anyone a tenner who manages to make it through without breaking into a full on boogie).
Most Wholesome Song of the Album Award goes to the final track; ‘Guys.' A loose reply to the single ‘Girls’ from debut album ‘The 1975’, the songs act as platonic love letters to each other, reminiscing of old times and confessing their mutual admiration.
The album also features some typical Matty Healy poetry. A few personal highlights include;
“I feel up my tucked-up erection / I pissed myself on a Texan intersection” from fan favorite, ‘Roadkill’.
“You put the tap on, to cover up the sound of your piss / That’s rich from a man who can’t shit” from ‘The Birthday Party’.
and “I never fucked in a car, I was lying, I do it on my bed, lying down, not trying” from Nothing Revealed/ Everything Denied’.
Even though I don’t think many of us have a fucking clue what's going on with this album, we can safely say it’s an all-encompassing soundtrack for these weird and wonderful times. Well done boys, you’ve smashed it again.