By Brent Bigelow
The Shuffle. blog
In late November the Manchester, England, based band, The 1975, released their third studio album diving into the modern age of technology and how it impacts the world. The 1975’s first album was received with critical praise and reached number one on the United Kingdom charts. On their second album, they performed even better on the charts hitting number one in the UK and number one in the United States. So, needless to say, the pressure was on for their third studio album and it delivered. “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” hit number one in the UK and number four in the U.S.
“Online Relationships” has typical rocking, electric, dance tracks that you would expect. “Give Yourself a Try” is the stereotypical 1975 song and it does what it’s supposed to do.
“TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” is fun “make-you-jump-up-and-dance” track with the upbeat driving home from the club feel.
“Sincerity is Scary” is a solid number with a beautiful trumpet sound and orgasmic choir sound singing chorus. You can’t listen to this song and be in bad mood, it’s impossible. This song is begging to have a Chance the Rapper feature somewhere.
“It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)” could be an early 2000s boy band song with the super sing-songy chorus.
“Mine” is perfect blend of Matthew Healy and Michael Bublé. Singing out breaks with a soft trumpet and a wonder string section. It’s a direction that isn’t expected from a band like them, but I’ll respect the effort.
There are two songs on this album that stand out the most and that’s “Love It If We Made It” and “Inside Your Mind.” “Inside Your Mind” is a truly sadistic and depressing love song. Matthew Healy sings lines like, “The back of your head is at the front of my mind, soon I’ll crack it open just to see what’s inside your mind,” and “Maybe I will wait until you’re fast asleep. Dreaming things I have the right to see.” It’s terrifying, but we’ve all had the thought of wondering what our loved ones are thinking but we’ve never gone to the extent of bashing their heads in just to see what on their mind (or at least I hope not).
The next song stole the whole album. A modern age political time capsule that, when dug deeper, really makes you think, “The world we live in is a f****** mess!” Discussing things like the heroin epidemic (something Matthew Healy, the lead singer, has personally dealt with), making a profit off inmates, police brutality, a dead three-year-old who drowned while trying to escape from Syria, Lil Peep’s death, Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem, President Trump saying, “I moved on her like a b****,” Kanye West doing Kanye West things and a nuclear war that almost started on Twitter between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. The modern age has failed us, but it’s the bed we made and we have to live in it.
The last song of the album, “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” is a rocking Oasis sounding epic that widens the brush stroke of the bands talents. Showing the world they can make music that’s more than keyboard, New Wave, pop music. The development and growth of the band is shown two-fold in this wonder book end.
The album has a lot of highs and just as many lows. Songs with meaning, songs to make you dance, songs to make you cry and songs to make you feel loved, but the album bogs down when it hits the instrumentals. Songs like, “The 1975,” “How To Draw / Petrichor” and “The Man Who Married a Robot / Love Theme,” really killed the rhythm of the album and just extends the hour-long runtime. The album has a great collection of different music stylings, but these instrumentals are must skips and put a damper on the record.
The 1975’s “A Brief Inquiry of Online Relationships” isn’t very brief, but it has a lot of songs you would expect from a band of their caliber and the great songs make this their best album to date. “Love It If We Made It” is a monumental song that is going to depict our generation forever. “A Brief inquiry of Online Relationships” is a must-have on vinyl and is a crucial record that reflects our modern times.