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SINGLE REVIEW: THE 1975 – IF YOU’RE TOO SHY (LET ME KNOW)

3.5

If You’re Too Shy is the 6th single from Notes on a conditional form and with its debut a few months ago, it is one that has already turned out to be a fan favourite crowd-pleaser with its live version hitting over half a million before its full studio release, but does it live up to its hype?

A combination of classic 1975 tropes and heavy layer of 80’s synth pop is the main driver for this new single. The main, 5 minute version, starts with an intro that while interesting it’s more of what can be heard off their last album and feels honestly needless in this state, with which they seem to agree with a second version cutting it out in its entirety. There is nothing particularly deep to the lyrical content, it’s another song about an online relationship and the curiosity and also disconnect that comes as a consequence of them, a much talked about topic in the last few years with the wide scale adoption of the internet into nearly every aspect of our lives and  relationships. But as per usual it’s undeniably catchy and the chorus is, in typical 1975 style, brilliantly refined. 

It’s instrumental is strangely minimal for what I presumed would be another maximal track akin to It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You) with it mostly revolving around drums, synth bass and guitar. Horns make a predictable appearance, after being present on every album since the debut, with its use mainly in the middle 8. This is certainly nothing abnormal for what is essentially an 80’s synth pop track in a Tears for Fears style, nor the 1975 having used it on tracks such as Heart out. There is something odd about the production, it does not have the perceived punch that can be got from The Sound or Its Not Living but it is at least different from what I expected in a positive manner and appreciated after the last single played it oddly safe. 

While not hitting the honestly unfairly high benchmark left by People it’s otherwise my favourite single leading up to the ridiculous 22 track new album released next month. While it would have been lovely to see a track akin to Everybody Wants To Rule The World this rides the line between 80’s pop and 1975’s typical sensibilities with a deft hand. Production could have been better with a surprising lack of detail from a band that takes so much inspiration from the work of Brian Eno with none of the backing synths heard throughout many of their other crowd pleasing favourites. 

So far their singles have been an inconsistent batch of tracks, swaying wildly from exceptionally good to inconsequential which, if I was the betting type, would be my view on the new album as a whole. This does not reach the heady heights of People but it’s certainly close and at least adds a sheen of newness that we have not seen from the last two singles.

Photo Credit: Jordan Curtis Hughes

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