Review: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships // The 1975
The 1975 are back with their most experimental album to date. They attempted to tackle new genres like soft jazz and emotional ‘80s ballads—almost every song is packed with passion and every lyric draws the listener into a world full of love, heartbreak, lust and corruption.
The album opens the same way it has the past two albums: with a track titled “The 1975.” This particular opener was the weakest of all, with the auto-tune (a very prominent feature on this record) being obnoxious right off the bat. “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” was released as a single before the entire album dropped. This track in particular is a little disappointing because it sounds like every other song being played on Top 40 radio, which is very unlike The 1975. If you took the vocals out, it could easily be mistaken for a Drake song. The song itself isn’t necessarily bad, just very generic.
“The Man Who Married a Robot/Love Theme” is, without a doubt, the most useless track. It’s about three minutes of a robot telling the tale of a man who’s obsessed with the internet. It’s tacky and redundant. This could have absolutely worked as a short interlude, especially considering that the album is an hour long. Instead, it ended up sounding like a B+ worthy final project for a class about social media’s impact on today’s youth.
We got it wrong and you said you'd had enough/ But what about these feelings I've got?” Every love song feels like an entry out of his personal diary. His raw emotion and passion makes the record twice as enjoyable to listen to.
Then we have songs like “Give Yourself a Try” and “Love It If We Made It” that sound very typical to the bands past work. The lyrics and vocals are very reminiscent of the band’s debut album, The 1975. They’re still lovely to listen to, especially with the unique guitar riffs stealing the show. This LP could have been a lot stronger without the excessive use of auto-tune. The vocals are outright gorgeous in soft ballads like “Be My Mistake” and “Mine,” it’s such a shame that almost half the songs are tainted with the bothersome altered audio.
Even though The 1975 tried out several different instrumentals styles for this LP, the lyrics are what really separates this album from the rest. Lead singer, Matty Healy, shines light on a lot of social issues, especially issues tied to race, sexuality and immigration. He even takes a few jabs at President Trump in “Love It If We Made It,” singing, “‘I moved on her like a bitch!’/Excited to be indicted/Unrequited house with seven pools.”
He also pours his heart out to the audience in power ballads like “I Couldn’t Be More In Love,” singing, “We got it wrong and you said you'd had enough/ But what about these feelings I've got?” Every love song feels like an entry out of his personal diary. His raw emotion and passion makes the record twice as enjoyable to listen to.
A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is arguably the most groundbreaking and interesting album The 1975 have released so far. It’s clear they were trying new styles and genres on this album, but whether or not they succeeded is up in the air. If they had backed off the auto-tune and played more into Healy’s raw vocals, it would have been a more impressive album.
Best Tracks: “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)”, “Mine”, “Give Yourself A Try”
Worst Tracks: “I Like America and America Likes Me”, “The Man Who Married a Robot/Love Theme”, “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)”
- Bridget McGuigan