Typically, “stripped-back” or “simple” is not how The 1975 are ever described. Lush, opulent, self-indulgent, even, but never minimalist or simple. This was a band that had a full orchestra at one of its concerts, for God’s sake.
But every now and then, The 1975 strip back their overproduction to deliver good poetry, and often, this is where the band shines the most.
Lead singer Matty Healy is first and foremost a poet, something that doesn’t always come across in some of The 1975’s more radio-friendly singles. In tracks like this and “Nana,” the stripped-back, quiet acoustic delivery is what really sells the lyrics — which are achingly personal, if not sardonic at times.
It can be quite boring to listen to Healy prattle on about lost loves (how many times has the man written a weepy breakup song?), but “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America” feels different. Ironically, despite the title, this song feels far more authentic and honest than something like “Somebody Else.” Whether it’s the twinkling vocals of Phoebe Bridgers or just the fact that the simpler instrumentation feels more personal, “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America” is a departure from a typical The 1975 track — a genuine look into Healy, instead of a song that feels like it’s ticking boxes for what a sad song “should” or “shouldn’t” be.
The last few years have seen a lot of growth for the band, with each new album as a benchmark of sorts. While they were once a rather forgettable synth-pop act, these days The 1975 are impressively ambitious, always trying to create some great, deep piece of art. It doesn’t always land, but when it does, like with this new single, it’s clear why despite all of their weird turns, the band still manages to be popular.
The 1975 just make good music. And even if it’s self-indulgent (and overly-so at that), it’s still undeniably catchy and worth a spot on more than a few playlists. This is a band that’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Featured Image: Interscope Records