Led by the anti-social media campaigning front man Matty Healy, The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is here.
Its been two and a half years since their second studio album, I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, Healy and the rest of The 1975 have re-emerged, armed with analysis on commercial success, rehab, and what social media is doing to humanity.
Opening with the familiar intro track of distorted spoken-word, the Manchester band’s third album has once again surpassed fans with new sound. As debut album single ‘Give Yourself A Try’ knowingly echoes Joy Divisions’ ‘Disorder’, the indie-pop song shows Healy’s judgement from the outset. “I found a grey hair in one of my zoots / Like context in a modern debate I just took it out” he sings against an undeniably loud guitar loop. The tempo is rather aggressive, however it fits the unexpected rebirth perfectly. Healy has always been unpredictable, as shown on the pop single ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’. On its release, it was clear that this was something we’d never heard from The 1975 before, yet some of their debut album’s best tracks – ‘M.O.N.E.Y’ and ‘Menswear’ have a similar style of electronica. With catchy choruses, the band understand the power of radio-friendly pop, in the context of social media romance.
Although the album has many catchy songs, Healy also sings about the issues facing the world at present, the passionate track ‘Love It If We Made It’ suggests there’s always a way to keep going despite drowning in the earth’s collective misery. The song depicts issues such as police brutality through systemic racism, the plastic crisis, deaths of refugees, Lil Peep being gone too soon and the unlikely bond between president Donald Trump and Kanye West via Twitter.
As the band has ditched all the pink from their previous album and gone back to the plain black and white, similar to their first album it is safe to say that 15 tracks on A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships are certainly not boring.