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





​Nearly 50 and Nearly Unplugged: 'ChangesNowBowie' Is a Glimpse Into a Brilliant Mind

Nine tracks, recorded by the BBC in 1996 show David Bowie in a relaxed and playful mood. ChangesNowBowie is a glimpse into a brilliant mind.


Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.


Inventions Conjure a Unique Blend of Mystery and Hope with Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.


Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch Are 'Live at the Village Vanguard' to Raise Money for Musicians

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.


Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Hides Its True Intentions Behind Dancefloor Exuberance

Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.


Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.


Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.


Alastair Sim: A Very English Character Actor Genius

Alastair Sim belongs to those character actors sometimes accused of "hamming it up" because they work at such a high level of internal and external technique that they can't help standing out.


Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers Head "Underwater" in New Video (premiere)

Celebrating the first anniversary of Paper Castle, folksy poppers Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers release an uplifting new video for opening track, "Underwater".


Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's New LP Is Lacking in Songcraft but Rich in Texture

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's The Mosaic of Transformation is a slightly uneven listen. It generally transcends the tropes of its genre, but occasionally substitutes substance for style.


Buzzcocks' 1996 Album 'All Set' Sees the Veteran Band Stretching Out and Gaining Confidence

After the straightforward and workmanlike Trade Test Transmissions, Buzzcocks continued to hone their fresh identity in the studio, as exhibited on the All Set reissue contained on the new box-set Sell You Everything.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.