The 1975 - “Being Funny in a Foreign Language” album review

Story posted October 19, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Kaitlyn Murphy

“Your new era. Your old friends. The 1975.”

That is The 1975’s artist statement on Spotify, and it sums up the band’s fifth studio album “Being Funny in a Foreign Language” perfectly.

The 1975 has been making music together since 2012 and it started out with an indie-rock sound that famously put the band on Tumblr’s radar in the early 2010s.

After the release of its self-titled album in 2013 that included angsty hits such as “Sex,” “Chocolate” and one of their most popular songs to this day, “Robbers,” The 1975 became an indie sensation. The band’s sound has matured since then, even if the topics covered in its songs remain fairly consistent.

“Being Funny in a Foreign Language” was produced by Jack Antonoff, one of the biggest names in the industry after his Grammy-winning work on Taylor Swift’s “folklore” in addition to working with his own band, Bleachers. Antonoff’s influence shines through on this album, as it is more musically uplifting than The 1975’s previous work and has a high danceability factor.

Almost every track on the album is accompanied with piano, saxophone, whimsical synthesized sounds and guitar, giving it the ambiance of a Bleachers album with the instantly recognizable lyrics of The 1975 frontman, Matty Healy.

Healy is no stranger to writing candidly about taboo subjects such as drugs, sexuality and the world’s political climate in his music. “Being Funny in a Foreign Language” includes the least sexually explicit lyrics of any 1975 album so far, instead focusing on the love and companionship Healy’s found in recent relationships.

The third single released from the album is fondly titled “I’m in Love With You,” and includes Healy repeating that phrase a surprising 24 times. It’s a far cry from his earlier writing that described drug-induced illicit encounters in the backs of vans.

A staple of every 1975 album is the opening track, titled “The 1975,” with the same lyrics but different instrumentals and rhythm to fit the era they enter with each new record. Healy stated that this is a creative decision equivalent to the sound a computer or TV makes powering up, “The 1975” lets the listener know they’re opening up a new album by the band.

However, the lyrics of “The 1975” are different on “Being Funny in a Foreign Language,” and they dive into the doomed lives of young people in the modern age. Healy sings “You’re makin’ an aesthetic out of not doing well / and minin’ all the bits of you you think you can sell whilst the fans are on.”

“Being Funny in a Foreign Language” is a work of lyrical genius and lives up to its name with bits of humor weaved into every song.

The final track on the album, “When We Are Together,” includes the lyrics, “Our first kiss was Christmas in the Walmart toy department” and “I like socks with sandals, she’s more into scented candles,” proving that while the band takes its work seriously, it is done trying to be the cynical youths it once was with its lyricism.

While the entire body of work is extremely impressive, the 10th track on the album, “About You,” is being widely referred to as one of The 1975’s best songs. Healy described it as a continuation of “Robbers,” with a “hall reverb” sound that creates a euphoric atmosphere perfect for a windows-down drive session.

In the song, Healy asks, “Do you think that I’ve forgotten about you?” The line is so intimate and beautiful that it sounds like he’s singing it directly to the listener.

“Being Funny in a Foreign Language” is a comprehensive and masterful album that blends the witty lyricism fans have grown to expect from The 1975 with a happier sound to show the band is no longer sex-and-drugs driven 20 year olds. They have found themselves in a good place with their lives and with their art.

Rating: 10/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “About You,” “Oh Caroline,” “The 1975”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Human Too”

Kaitlyn Murphy is a first-year studying digital and print journalism. To contact her, email