Album Review: The 1975- A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
On Friday 30th November- The 1975 released their third studio album ‘A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships’. The album takes the listener on a journey of deep and powerful emotion intermixed with fun, catchy pop songs as well as demonstrating the bands musical expertise.
Opening the album is self-titled “The 1975” which is a short piano piece with some highly synthesised lyrics. It’s an odd opener to the album but oddly sets the scene for the rest of the album.
Then comes “Give Yourself a Try” which was the first song to be released off this highly anticipated album back at the end of May, followed by “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME”, the third single to be released off the album which continues with the indie-pop vibe incorporating simple yet catchy and cocky lyrics into a song.
Next on the album is another new song, and the first full length one- “How To Draw/ Petricho”. It begins with a minute and a half of orchestral music then Matt Healy briefly jumps in, heavily synthesised again and then comes a beat and in the last minute, the vocals are back. It is another very surreal song, making a statement to conventional pop song writing and adds to the impact and diversity of the album.
“Love It If We Made It”, the second single released off the album in mid-July takes the album back to a positive and upbeat sound, including 80’s melodies as well as clever lyrics highlighting political and relevant events of our current times. Matt Healy has said that it’s supposed to convey genuine optimism for the future of our generation.
Continuing the journey through the album, “Be My Mistake” changes the tempo of the music and brings back a calm and relaxing atmosphere, using an acoustic guitar to beautifully portray a love song in another display of the band’s versatility and talent.
“Sincerity is Scary” which was released in September comes next followed by another new song “I Like America and America Likes Me”, which brings back more synthesised vocals with a desperate plead including lyrics such as “I’m scared of dying”, another macabre perspective of admittance.
“The Man Who Married a Robot/ Love Theme” is the most bizarre ‘song’ on the album and is a narrative of a man who fell in love with the internet, with the lyrics interspersed with mentions of people having sex and photos of genitals. What is odder, is that the music is actually rather moving, and you begin to feel involved with the story that is being told.
Following up with a dramatic piano opening, “Inside Your Mind” is another love ballad detailing the fascination you feel when you want to find out how somebody thinks and feels.
“It’s Not Living (If it’s Not With You)” again sends the energy back up again. It’s the most recent single to be released from the album and gives the impression of a catchy, pick me up, indie pop song but reading deeper into the lyrics it becomes clear that it’s about Matt Healy’s heroin addiction and his five-year struggle with the disease, that he has only now felt comfortable talking about.
The album continues with “Surrounded By Heads and Bodies”, an acoustic, slow and relaxing song which brings the pace back down again and “Mine” brings back the piano with a more mature tone and encourages self-reflection whilst talking about the expectations of people when they reach a particular point in a relationship or get to a particular age.
“I Couldn’t Be More in Love” mirrors a classic 80s love song, even including a key change towards the end. It explains the heart break and struggles of being in a relationship where you question if feelings are enough to stay together or whether actions are needed too.
Finally, ending what is likely to be the best album released this year, “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” is another self-reflective song which evolves into a dramatic and full-on conclusion. It’s another example of the melancholy twists felt between all of the songs and the lyrics on the album. The last forty seconds develops into a chilling instrumental which fades out the album.
Overall, this album truly is a masterpiece and each new song bring something new and exciting whilst still making a point and earning it’s right to be there. It is by far the best album that The 1975 have released to date and is a demonstration of the talented song writing and musical skill that the band possess. It doesn’t shy away from the difficult talking points and brutality involved with sex, drugs and alcohol but does so in such a way that it captures attention and involves a varied audience. It will not be a surprise if this is the start of The 1975’s takeover of the music scene.