The 1975 – “A Change of Heart” (Singles Going Steady)

Some love it some hate it, the 1975 divide the opinion of the Singles Going Steady crew.

Evan Sawdey: This band pisses me off so much. Their first album of fluffy, One Direction-endorsed pop music was surprisingly serviceable, but then this group of young Britons study the discography of Peter Gabriel and end up making one of the better pop albums of 2016? Unheard of. How dare they. Yet musically and lyrically, that disc is on point, distinct, and pointedly creepy at times. “A Change of Heart” is an odd choice of single, airy and fluffy, with a narrator whose girlfriend is telling him he’s riddled with diseases and looks terrible. Even with a merely-OK pop hook on those lightly-tapped synth pads, the perspective is still distinct, and makes one wonder what the 1975 will be up to yet. (“Ugh!” is the far better single though, for those keeping score.) [6/10]

Pryor Stroud: It would be wrong to say that the 1975 matured after their debut LP from 2013. They didn’t mature; they embraced their immaturity — that is, their infatuation with post-adolescent, not-as-young-adult fantasies and romantic mini-dramas. “A Change of Heart”, the latest single from their sophomore album, captures this polished vision of 20-something angst, and it captures it well. Colored with neon synthesizer pulses and a widescreen John Hughes-esque idealism, it’s an OMD knockoff that could perfectly soundtrack the last dance at a high school prom populated by tortured-beyond-their-years young lovers. [8/10]

Timothy Gabriele: This is dreadfully dull. It’s Ultravox after Foxx left, the Human League after they sold out, and OMD when they were sick and tired of seeing everybody else get theirs and decided to cash in. But at least those defeated groups had the good sense to not put a dying cat solo square in the middle of their drafted-in-rhythm-with-a-John-Hughes-montage artless shamwow. This is retro for people weaned on the travesty of what passes for remembrance on the pop stations these days. Yacht rock without chillwave’s innocence bereavement and detourned aesthetic irony. Jesus Christ, there’s even a black and white music video featuring mimes. Mimes, for chrissakes! Who is the target audience for this? Hospice patients who grew up in the eighties or actual young people? How much Thorazine is the generation taking? [2/10]

Chris Ingalls: The 1975’s new single is a glossy slice of new wave pop, sounding like a long-lost Spandau Ballet b-side, but with enough weirdness (in the form of a drunken portamento keyboard riff) to bring the song up to the present day. For the most part, the song really does sound like it was transported from 1987 and wouldn’t sound at all out of place on some big-haired college radio DJ’s late-night playlist. [7/10]

Jared Skinner: The 1975 release the video for the song “Change of Heart” from their new album and it shockingly, depicts a couple in which one of the members of the relationship has a change of heart. Perhaps harkening back to lead singer Matt Healy’s run-in with Taylor Swift last fall, the video follows a couple through a natural rise and fall of a relationship. Somewhat humorous, yet also pleasingly melancholy, it didn’t add much weight to the slow and relaxing electric jam from the 1975’s newest album. [6/10]

Emmanuel Elone: The first minute of this song is fresh, innocent, and a delightful reminder of all of the great music that the 1975 can make when they are focused and determined. The second minute was similarly sweet, even though the calming rock instrumentation and lyrics were beginning to feel just slightly stale. By the third and fourth minute, “A Change of Heart” was so dreamy that is was going in one ear and out the other. There’s a definite appeal to the way the 1975 approach indie rock, but “A Change of Heart” is simply too dreamy and light-hearted to be interesting and too soft and mellow to be good rock music. [5/10]

Chad Miller: The synths are a lot of fun here, especially in the middle section and near the end when they take over. The melody is really pretty too. I wasn’t a big fan of the lyrics though. There were a lot of mentions of attractiveness and looks, and while some were apparently references to previous song lyrics, it still cheapened the effect for me. [7/10]

Kevin Korber: It’s not shocking that the 1975 would eventually go full “Time After Time” on us. What is shocking is that they do it so convincingly. [7/10]

SCORE: 6.00

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