Having cemented themselves as arena filling, festival headlining indie giants with their last full length album ‘A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships’, The 1975 continued their streak of releasing great tracks from across a variety of genres with the singles from ‘Notes’; with the likes of ‘Me & You Together Song’ and ‘If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)’ being amongst their best tracks yet.
A good run of singles don’t always add up to a great full album however, and with ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’ being a whole hour and twenty minutes long it would be hard for any act to hold your attention for that length of time unless it was something truly special, and for the most part, The 1975 have cracked it.
After the album opens with a speech from Greta Thunberg, her ‘It is time to rebel’ refrain fits perfectly with the heavy, urgent ‘People’.
‘Notes’ has a scattering of instrumental tracks akin to ‘How To Draw’ from their last effort, the first of these being ‘The End (Music For Cars)’. The majority of these feel like they belong on the album, for example ‘Streaming’ flows really well into the chill, introspective ‘The Birthday Party’ and ‘Shiny Collarbone’ being a groovy, developing piece of dance music that breaks up the album nicely. The double bill of ‘Having No Head’ and ‘What Should I Say’ is the only real lull in the album for me however, with the two tracks back to back not being interesting enough for that length of time.
The album is a real testament to the production skills of Matty and George. The album has an eclectic mix of genres and clear influences ranging from the likes of The Charlatans and Ride on ‘Me & You Together Song’ and ‘Then Because She Goes’ to classic country on ‘Roadkill’ to modern trap and IDM elsewhere in the record and all of these are produced to an amazing, authentic sounding standard.
Overall, ‘Notes’ is the product of an extremely creative band who have proved that they are still at the top of their game; the record may seem bloated but with a few listens it’s easily the best thing they have ever made, and one of the best albums in recent years.