Ah, The UK's Most Divisive Band
As the seventh single released from The 1975's upcoming studio album Notes on a Conditional Form (sixth if you're excluding the Greta Thurnberg opener) 'If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)' is an 80s fuelled banger that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on their earlier work.
The production on this single is stunning, with long time collaborator Mike Crossey doing wonders for the track. Tasteful drums and a synth bass drive the tune forward, with Adam Hann’s stylish guitar work lending a Tears For Fears-esque riff. Matty Healy’s delivery is nothing new, but the chorus hook is infectiously catchy. The saxophone additions in the chorus, as well as the solo, are a little cheesy but overall are a nice touch. I saw this song played live in February and I’ve genuinely been humming it ever since. Top marks.
Now the negatives. I think as a single, Too Shy is great. Catchy, fun, and definitely danceable. However, if you compare this to the other singles…none of it makes sense.
The 1975 - Great message, but disappointed they sacked off the ‘soft sound’ intro
People - Industrial-tinted punk banger
Frail State of Mind - Why was this a single?
Me & You Together Song - I loved it, my parents thought it sounded like Busted
The Birthday Party - Again, why a single?
Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America - Matty goes country
If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know) - 80s tribute
Don’t get me wrong, some of the songs I absolutely love. But if we’re thinking ahead to Notes, The 1975's next album is looking worryingly like it will make absolutely no sense. There’s no consistency. It feels like they’re fitting jigsaw pieces together, but every jigsaw piece is from a different puzzle. And yes, Matty said ‘its gonna be a collection of work rather than an album’ (wanker), but still. A hint of consistency would be nice. Even A Brief Inquiry had a level of consistency. Their singles are great, and a band of this magnitude experimenting is great, but at the same time it just seems like they’re making every genre possible in order to appeal to the widest audience possible. If you told me in 2016 that The 1975 would release an acoustic country track as a single, I’d laugh at you at un-pause Love Me. As a long time fan, its frustrating.
If You’re Too Shy is a certified banger, and worked brilliantly in a live setting. Great performances all round, and Crossey’s production truly makes this track what it is. Just unsure on how all this is gonna fit together in June.
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James Mellen is a very bored student in his final year of compulsory education, waiting to study music production and performance at degree level. He is passionate about music, guitars and music. He also watches films sometimes.
Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based in London, England.