The 1975 have finally fully released their ‘millennial’ A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships album, and it’s more often than not, perfect.
The Manchester Pop Quartet have been playing together since their secondary school days, and that long a period encompasses a lot of maturity and development. This is realised here, the band bounce from shoe-gaze alt-rock to jazz in a matter of moments, and it feels sequential but bizarre simultaneously. This is one of many examples that give the bands latest LP a sense of clouded brilliance- this is to say, it is not always intentional.
The album bursts into your ears with ‘Give Yourself a Try’ a perfect blend of punk rock and electronic glitchy music. Vocalist Matt Healy speaks of urgency, asking listeners to focus on themselves and not their phones- ‘Give Yourself a Try’.
But within moments, we are in an afrobeats song with ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’ and then in ambient music with ‘How To Draw’- all in different ways showing how we engage with social media, be it joyous or destructive.
It’s hard as a student to not personally related to the content of this album, and this is part of the reason it has been labelled as ‘the first millennial album’ - a remarkable title for a remarkable band.
However, the wide experimentation does come with some shortcomings. The trap-infused ballad ‘I like America' is hot garbage, with the hip-hop elements not landing as well as other elements. The jazzier songs ‘Sincerity is Scary' and ‘Mine' is similarly clunky, clearly not being as well-honed in as the alternative rock and pop moments.
Keep in mind though, that this album is born out of Matt Healy's drug addiction. This is to say that the content is very personal, which does excuse the random nature of the songs at times. While I personally admire the wild drug infused nature of the first two albums, laying off the drugs for this one made it seem like a focus-grouped version of their earlier work.
What I mean by this is that for the most part, this feels like their most complete and realised work. It’s their favourite album already of mine, and it’s only been out a few days! Maybe it does require time for some listeners, but I urge you as students to give it time! Listen to lyrics on the closer ‘I always wanna die (sometimes)’ and tell me it’s not representative of our hopes and dreams potentially crumbling.
The 1975 are aware of their audience, and on this album, they are finally fully rewarded.
Love It If We Made It
It’s Not Living (If It's Not With You)
Be My Mistake
I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)
I Like America & America Likes Me
Surrounded by Heads and Bodies
I Couldn't be More in Love