Pop, Frivolity, & Attitude: A Review of The 1975’s “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME”

Atwood Magazine’s writers and The 1975’s longtime fans share their thoughts on “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME,” The 1975’s upbeat, sassy, and unnervingly catchy third single off ‘A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships.’

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You wet my eyes
but I don’t mind it
I tell you lies
But it’s only sometimes
You pick a fight
And I’ll define it

Nicole: “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” is a banger, even though the song title is complicated to write down. I legitimately think I’ve had the song’s chorus stuck in my head ever since it was released, and I’ve been showing the song to friends of mine who normally wouldn’t be into The 1975 and they fall in love with the song seconds into it. I think it’s going to be their biggest hit ever, and even though it sounds much more commercial than their previous work it hasn’t lost the edge and flair that makes us love The 1975. I also really like how lighthearted it is considering the subject matter of the previous two songs – cheating is not a light subject, but the tone of the song is much more playful than “Give Yourself a Try” which referenced STDs, a fan’s suicide, and addiction, and “Love it if We Made It” which basically gets everything that’s wrong in the world and squeezes it into one song. It really does show the dynamism and diversity that we can expect from A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, which only gets me more excited for the album.

This was the first of their new releases that instantly grabbed me and it kind of rekindled my love for The 1975, so personally I consider the song a total victory. The lyrics are much more playful than Healy’s previous works, reminding me of the cockiness of “Girls” and “The Sound,” and though I love it when he puts his intellectual hat on (is it ever off?), I live for moments of sass and jokes in songs – especially British ones. In my opinion, they completely knocked it out of the park with “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME.” And if you’re not convinced yet, watch the Spotify music video for the song: I dare you not to fall in love with it.

Mitch: Sassy, fresh, and bursting with feelgood vibes, The 1975’s “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” is a euphoric, energizing jolt of bright sonic warmth. Its deep grooves and infectious swagger remind me of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” and Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” – in other words, this is The 1975’s big pop moment. Lyrically, “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” feels like saying sorry with a smile on your face: Matty Healy’s cheekily unapologetic lyrics dance a fine line between cocksure and charming, while we in turn dance to the full band’s playful and powerfully immersive tropical house-meets-indie pop beat. Gone are the atmospheric soundscapes that once epitomized The 1975’s sound; the Manchester quartet’s transformation into the world’s biggest pop band feels complete, a vision realized through buoyant grooves, frenzied flamboyance, and effortless cool.

Yet what’s truly nerve-wracking is how The 1975 seem to have gotten away with playing every trick in the pop musician’s playbook – from the percussive piano hits and melodic repetitions, right down to the counting! I’m not usually one for counting songs, but I can’t help myself here: All I want to do is join Healy as he partakes in nuanced, blithe, and carefree (but not really) repartee:

I only called her one time
Maybe it was two times?
Don’t think it was three times
Can’t be more than four times

“TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” is just direct enough for us to recognize the tone of general unrest between a couple, while also being ambiguous enough such that we can’t claim to know the full story. Who’s the narrator been calling nearly-maybe four times?! Is an affair afoot, or are they “just friends”; what constitutes  appropriate, and what’s unacceptable? I’m not losing any sleep over these questions, but I’ll gladly lose sleep listening to this song: The 1975 have, in “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME,” delivered a hot summer single perfect for soaking in the sun’s rays and wagging your finger at strangers while dancing down the street. I’m bathing in the glow of The 1975.

Natalie:  I had such high expectations about “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” because I really liked the other two new tracks. The minute I heard the first few seconds I was drawn in and instantly reminded of “The Sound.” But then, the longer the song dragged on, the more I thought it really sounded like a bad soca track! The melody is catchy, and the song itself is definitely infectious but it just really falls flat for me. I think the lyrics lack any substance and it just sounds like radio fluff. With that being said, I’m sure it will grow on me eventually. It’s just definitely a song that sounds so much like the band without really sounding like them at all, if that makes any sense. It has the playfulness that we’re all accustomed to and appreciate, but even that isn’t enough to make this anything special in my opinion. The music video is definitely cute though, and I’m still really excited for the new album!

Francesca: Sound-wise, “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” is bubbly, sunny, and fun. I was intrigued to listen to it because of Nicole’s excitement and, in comparison to the other two tracks of this year, it’s the one that stands out more in terms of liveliness. However, I’ve always been indifferent to The 1975 – their music doesn’t excite me and I find them a bit overhyped at times (PERSONAL OPINION. DON’T ATTACK ME). Given that Matty Healy’s loved by so many people, I do appreciate the social commentary of “Love It If We Made It” and the references to STDs and suicide in “Give Yourself a Try,” but the lyrics for “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” just annoyed me.

I only called her one time, maybe it was two times
Don’t think it was three times,
can’t be more than four times
Think we need to rewind,
you text that boy sometimes
Must be more than three times
Didn’t mean to two-time ya, two-time ya

I know it’s typical unserious Matty, intended to be humorous while poking fun out of society, and I know that it may not be autobiographical but it just has a real cockiness to it- Intensified by the playfulness of the sound. The video’s sweet and if you’re a fan of the band then I can understand the affection for all of it. I still find The 1975 kind of boring though but why does my opinion matter?

Alex: I dig this track. It feels like a relief from the headier singles off their new album but also seems to fit in with them in an unexpected way. I also feel like it makes listeners and fans more fully realize and appreciate the different directions their music tends to take, and the fact that they make it work. The 1975’s desire to shift direction and sound within their music is something I’ve learned to love about them, but it can definitely be a challenge. Especially with their most recent singles, there’s a stark contrast between each one that refuses to be ignored, and “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” is no exception. It’s more cohesive in sound than the previous two singles and has a playful, carefree air to it that I find addictive. It still hits on societal themes, as is normal for them, but does so in a clever format and style that I find adds a layer of irony in and of itself. Matty pokes fun at and comments on the digital age of dating, infidelity and monogamy on a track that fits in perfectly with everything the radio loves right now. It’s a song perfect for the times he’s discussing in the lyrics. I may be thinking too hard about it, but even when I take a step back, “TOOTIME…” is still a super fun listen and a perfect track to keep the summer vibes rolling into fall. And for me, it adds one more facet to the ever-evolving puzzle that is ‘75.

Monica: “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” immediately fed into the idea that A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships will be The 1975’s best album. The poppy, upbeat sound of the song is quickly masked by Matty’s vain persona. He works to pardon his own controversial actions in their relationship by comparing them to those of his significant other. He offers petty excuses about his actions, excuses this generation of dating is all too familiar with. Matty only once mentions that these situations actually “petrify” him. And while he may be brushing off his interactions with other girls as insignificant, these are also legitimate fears this generation of dating knows and fears as well. “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” seems to fit in perfectly with the theme of the new album. It was a perfect single to debut before the album’s release. It’s relatable, unique and a song that will infinitely be stuck in your head.

Anonymous (@The1975Updates): I loved “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” the first time I heard it. I haven’t been able to stop listening to it on repeat (literally) since it was released! They put the video on Spotify and I bought a subscription just so I could watch it ASAP. It’s such an addictive song in the same way that loads of pop songs are, but they’ve managed to retain an unmistakable ‘The 1975’ feel to it. I don’t know what it is specifically about this song, but it’s 100% my favourite of their 2018 releases.

Whenever The 1975 release a new song my first reaction is always ‘this is my favourite one yet.’ There was so much hype on my timeline for “Love It If We Made It” and I can honestly say I spent the whole day dying to hear it. I think I listened to it for three days straight before I played anything else. “Love It If We Made It” sort of came from nowhere, and I genuinely think that’s another of the best songs they’ve ever released. Whatever they’re releasing at the minute I absolutely love, and not (just!) because it’s The 1975. It’s got me really excited for the release of A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships.

The lyrics to The 1975 are always interpretive really; my friend and I get really into discussing the meaning of the lyrics and how we relate to the different aspects. I guess that’s what gets everyone talking about their songs. Always breaking convention, it’s interesting that The 1975 chose to use ‘too’ instead of ’two’ timing, suggesting that the partner in the lyrics also cheats, supported by ‘you text that boy sometimes’ when Matty is justifying his own actions. This justification raises a key issue faced by todays modern, tech savvy society – can just calling someone or messaging really be seen as cheating? His relationship is complicated further by the use of social media, (a theme referenced in all three recently released singles) with Matty’s reference to his partners annoyance at him not liking her posts.

Joanna (@The1975_Tour): Let me start by saying I absolutely adore the new music from The 1975. I have a bit of a history of liking artists who go all over the map in genre from record to record, so the way this deviates from their previous releases hasn’t bothered me. What I think “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” has continued, is a bit of a new trend which has emerged from the new tracks we have heard from A Brief Inquiry – simplicity.

“Give Yourself a Try” had the repetitive guitar line. “Love It If We Made It” has a verse which is primarily made up of the same note. “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” is not the most lyrically adventurous we have ever seen The 1975. But this is the genius of a good pop song; the ability to take something so simple, and turn it into a track which won’t get out of your head from the minute you hear it. It is a testament to the writer/producer powerhouse that Matty Healy and George Daniel are. There is no doubt that this is a new direction for The 1975. Any previous hesitations Healy had about The 1975 becoming too pop are long since gone.

I Like It When You Sleep could only become what it was because the band made a decision to be bold, and make the music they wanted to make, placing to one side any expectations that may have been upon them. It appears that this is a philosophy they have maintained in making A Brief Inquiry, and are keeping us all guessing what we are going to get next from them.

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:: stream TOOTIME… here ::

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:: Stream The 1975 ::

Reeling in The 1975’s Impassioned Protest “Love It If We Made It”

:: REVIEW ::

Our Writers Review The 1975’s “Give Yourself a Try”


The Sound of Somebody Else: How The 1975 Are Changing Music

:: 2018 feature ::

Sex, Drugs, and Music with The 1975

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