Four days ago I had never heard of The 1975. I was skimming through my pile of Entertainment Weekly issues and stumbled upon a positive review for their new album “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.” The description sounded like music I might enjoy, so I gave it a try through Apple Music. I listened to it non-stop at work that day, and that evening I rushed to my nearest Target to buy the physical CD.
“I Like It When You Sleep…” is most often summarized as an ’80s pop throwback, but that takes a bit for granted. It almost feels like a collection of the best genres and sounds of that era, from the Prince-esque groove of “Love Me” and “UGH!”, plus “The Sound” and “This Must Be My Dream” as two of the best Erasure songs never performed by Erasure, not to mention the ethereal, wailing guitars of “Please Be Naked” and “Lostmyhead” that echo The Cure.
That’s not to say The 1975’s record is a series of imitations or even a mere compilations of quality songs – this is a true album, an emotionally guided journey of highs and lows, joys and sorrows. The “shuffle” experience has nothing on listening to “I Like It When You Sleep…” straight through, which transitions beautifully from the moody introspection of the title track into the burgeoning disco pulse of “The Sound,” and the optimism of “This Must Be My Dream” to the longing of “Paris” to the sorrow of “Nana.” This album is not a collection of songs, but an experience to partake in.
You can listen to The 1975’s album here on Apple Music.
This past week took me forever to get through an audio commentary (aka non-chemical sleeping pills) but I got on a better roll afterwards:
- The Graduate (1967) – This movie is still REQUIRED, but the audio commentary by director Mike Nichols and Steven Soderbergh isn’t. It felt like more of a conversation than actually discussing what was taking place onscreen, though I enjoyed learning about the editing/pacing decisions from Nichols.
- Zootopia (2016) – Wonderful political allegory about prejudice and tolerance, disguised as a family film about talking animals. REQUIRED.
- Iron Man 2 (2010) – Essentially, a rehash of Iron Man 1. NOT RECOMMENDED.
- Brooklyn (2015) – My second time with this movie was even more emotional, from a greater understanding of the story and choices our heroine Eilis is facing. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
What did you see last week?
Sorry for the slow posts!
Two weeks ago, I saw:
- I Knew Her Well (1965) – Very strong drama following a struggling model/actress in Rome. This has been referred to as “the female La Dolce Vita,” which it isn’t, as its overall mood and feel is more jolting and less dreamlike and flowing. Knockout performance by lead Stefania Sandrelli and featuring a terrific 1960s pop soundtrack. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
- The Graduate (1967) – Full disclosure, this is probably my favorite movie of the 1960s. An essential American coming-of-age story with visionary direction and the powerful songs of Simon & Garfunkel. REQUIRED.
- The Hunting Ground (2015) – Deeply troubling documentary on the campus rape crisis occurring at universities around the country, and the lack of response by administrations to put a stop to it. RECOMMENDED.
- Poltergeist (1982) – This movie terrified me as a child, and it still doesn’t sit well with me today. The haunted house genre is pushed a step further with ghosts terrorizing and attacking children (not at all entertaining, to be frank) though its iconic visuals and genuinely scary moments are certainly commendable. NOT RECOMMENDED.
What did you see (not last week, but) two weeks ago?
I can’t believe I only saw three movies last week!
- The Intouchables (2011) – Based on a true story, this buddy comedy/drama between a debilitated wealthy man and his unpolished caregiver doesn’t really go anywhere plenty of other movies haven’t. NOT RECOMMENDED.
- The Incredible Hulk (2008) – Nothing quite works in this origin story behind the iconic angry green superhero. Edward Norton doesn’t have enough to work with, and Liv Tyler whispers her way through sappy love dialogue. NOT RECOMMENDED.
- Zootopia (2016) – Incredibly thoughtful and endlessly entertaining comedy-mystery set in an urban landscape where animals walk, talk, and harbor prejudices. Its complex messages around equality, diversity, and acceptance are profoundly timely in today’s fractured social climate. REQUIRED.
What did you see last week?