Album review: The 1975


A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships by The 1975

For Fans of: The Bad Suns, Arctic Monkeys, The Neighbourhood

Best Time to Listen: Either in the year 1975 or wearing all black and hating your parents while living at their house as an angsty high schooler.

If you were anything like me in high school, you probably wore a lot of black clothing and too much eyeliner, dyed your hair, spent all your babysitting money on concert tickets and thought the world was against you. Thankfully, I was blessed with the first 1975 album in 2013 to supplement my try-hard aesthetic. There’s nothing quite like screaming the unintelligible lyrics of “Chocolate” and “Girls” in your friend’s car to make you feel way cooler than everybody else.

The band was an immediate hit, selling out concerts in tiny, grungy venues across the globe, and girls everywhere “dressed in black head to toe” and lined up around the corner hours before the shows started. Matty Healy became an icon with his Manchester accent, filthy curly hair and affinity for feminine blouses — girls everywhere were hopelessly in love.

Three years later, the band dabbled in ’80s style sound and aesthetic in their sophomore album “I Like it When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.” Tracks such as “UGH!” and “This Must Be My Dream” presented a funky dance-pop sound, while “She Lays Down” and “Somebody Else” retained the moody and somber tone for which the band is known.

So what’s next? On Nov. 30, the band will release its third album, titled “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships,” a name only slightly shorter than the sophomore album’s mouthful of a title. So far, five tracks from the album have been fed to the public and all have been met with positive responses.

The first of these was “Give Yourself a Try,” a grungier, yet electronic, tune that harmonized the angst of the first album and the grooviness of the second. I’ll admit it — 16-year-old me had some major heart flutters during my first listen.

The second, “Love it if We Made it,” is all 2013 — screaming scandalous phrases and goth poetry over a melody akin to an Arctic Monkeys song.

“TooTimeTooTimeTooTime” is definitely more low-key than its predecessors, making the listener feel like driving their car downtown at night and under the halo of streetlights enjoying the confessional lyrics of Healy’s unfaithful past laid over soft techno beats.

“Sincerity is Scary” is reminiscent of the band’s early EP, “Music for Cars” — an overt inspiration for tracks on the new album, according to Healy. The brooding, yet jazzy, tune mirrors tracks like “Me” and “Fallingforyou,” the second of which came from the subsequent 2013 EP, “IV.”

Finally, “It’s Not Living (if it’s Not With You)” is full funky 1975 again, with a very danceable beat and fun sing-along lyrics — containing, however, no less teenage angst than its companions.

Whether you’re holding onto a 1975 aesthetic that defined your high school experience or looking to dabble in some of their new and experimental sounds, “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships” will likely be a satisfying album when it hits all major music platforms and stores on Nov. 30.


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