The 1975 have earned their place as a reputable pop band with their third album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. It is an evolution of the band’s previous sound, which makes sense as it’s the first album not produced by previous producer Mike Crossey. Band members and co-songwriters Matthew Healy and George Daniel are the producers this go-around. The 1975 has been accused of being pretentious and unimaginative in the past, but those critics seem out of the loop. This album doesn’t wipe the slate clean; it paints over it with vibrant strokes of amber audio, violet vocals, and fuschia funk.
The internet, and all of its nooks and crannies, is The 1975’s newest muse. This is most evident in the song “The Man Who Married A Robot/ Love Theme” which is a dystopian poem completely narrated by Siri with music reminiscent of a ballet crescendoing in the background. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships features more vocal manipulation than past albums, something Matt Healy is fond of. But it is fitting, as the album is an ode to technology’s influence on our relationships.
“Love It If We Made It” critiques much about the way we treat modern romances masked by an optimistic beat but, oh honey, the lyrics are brutally honest. The song “Inside Your Mind” explores morbid romanticism, like wanting to know what your partner is thinking so much that you’ll smash their head open.
The 1975 is loved for their dance-your-ass-off tunes. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships has three put-your-phone-down-it’s-time-to-move-it-to-the-dance-floor tracks: “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME,” “Give Yourself a Try,” and “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You).” But at the end of the day, The 1975 slows down and gives us songs to fall asleep to as our phone still glows in our hand connecting us to our social web, like “Surrounded by Heads and Bodies,”“Mine,” and “Sincerity Is Scary.”
The 1975 have a way of burrowing under your skin and tapping into the well of emotions that has been simmering waiting for release. The song “Mine” in particular evokes a nostalgia for a part of my life I haven’t lived yet, as if time isn’t linear, and I can feel my future anguish and longing. “I Couldn’t Be More In Love” hides under a facade of romanticism, but it’s really a song for formerly I’m happy in my relationship people, as Matt Healey said in an article with Vulture, “It’s about what happens when no one cares anymore.”
This album lingers long after you finish listening like a delicious dessert at the end of an expensive meal that you can actually afford with an adequate tip. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationship ends on a cinematic note with “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes).” It would be the perfect last song of any bittersweet movie, and years from now it’s possible “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” will be the song the band is most known for.
Originally The 1975 thought this would be their last album, wrapping up the decade, but Matt Healy said they weren’t actually good enough to quit yet. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is now streaming on music platforms. Do yourself a favor and listen to it. I recommend turning your notifications off and taking a dog for a walk in a light snow storm.