The 1975 exceed all expectations with new album


The 1975 in Manchester, England on Dec. 1, 2018.

The 1975 released “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” on Nov. 30, 2018.

Modernity may have failed us, but The 1975 has saved us with “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships,” released on Nov. 30.

The Manchester-based band—comprised of lead vocalist and guitarist Matty Healy, guitarist Adam Hann, bassist Ross MacDonald and drummer George Daniel—took a nearly two-year hiatus from the spotlight following the release of their critically acclaimed second album “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it.” Their comeback and subsequent transition into the Music For Cars era began on June 1—an emblematic date for the group.

While expectations for this studio release were high from fans and critics alike, The 1975 managed to outdo themselves in every capacity with an album that’s easily a candidate for best release of 2018.

Following their tradition, “The 1975” introduces the album—but is in no way reminiscent of its predecessors. Swapping previous powerful melodic arrangements for a sparse piano, Healy’s voice is auto-tuned to the point of sounding robotic to begin this inquiry of modernity and the human experience.  

Heavily reminiscent of Joy Division’s “Disorder,” Healy delves into his own life experiences—from sex to opioid addiction—in “Give Yourself a Try.” “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” explores an unfaithful relationship in the digital age in the most upbeat way possible. Given the complexity of the album, they seem almost out of place, but are good filler tracks nonetheless.  

Jazz and R&B dominate “How to Draw / Petrichor” as Healy explores his heroin addiction and its impact on his relationships with those closest to him. His struggle is once again explored in “Surrounded By Heads and Bodies”—a track dedicated to Angela, a woman who joined Healy in rehab.

“Love It If We Made It” may just be the best track on the album. This ballad is nothing short of a powerful statement on the current state of the world. Allusions to the Black Lives Matter Movement, the global refugee crisis, Trump’s infamous sexual assault allegation scandals and odd companionship on and offline with Kanye West—and even deceased rapper Lil Peep—dominate the track while perfectly capturing the album’s essence.

“Be My Mistake” could not be a better track to follow up this ballad, as this acoustic piece calms the energy. The sound once again shifts with “Sincerity is Scary.” Reminiscent of “If I Believe You”—a track off their second album—the track beautifully blends nostalgia with their new sound.

The intensely auto-tuned vocals return on “I Like America & America Likes Me” and almost pierce your ears—but in the best way possible. Accompanied by a melodic hip hop beat, it reflects the sound of America at the moment—or as Healy puts it, “an homage to Soundcloud rap.”

The most unique track—or poem, rather—on the album is undoubtedly “The Man Who Married A Robot / Love Theme.” Apple’s very own Siri replaces Healy on vocals as the robot chronicles the lonely life of @SnowflakeSmasher86, a porn-loving, Internet addict whose life is consumed by all the World Wide Web has to offer until death does him in.  

In the words of Healy himself, “It’s Not Living If It’s Not With You” is “‘the 1975-iest’ The 1975 song since The 1975’s first album ‘The 1975.’” The chorus echoes Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” while combining components from all three of the band’s eras to create an indescribable feel-good anthem. Despite the track’s cheerful tune, Healy’s addiction once again dominates it’s theme—similar to “UGH!” on the previous album—making it quite haunting in reality.

“Inside Your Head” and “Mine” explore different components of love, but “I Couldn’t Be More In Love” truly steals the show. Ironically enough, Healy explained in an interview with Vulture that it’s not an exploration of love, but rather “what happens when no one cares anymore.” A powerful guitar solo accompanies Healy’s intense vocals to create a masterpiece.

“I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” is the kind of song that belongs in an early 2000’s romantic comedy. It exudes serious Goo Goo Doll’s “Iris” vibes—appropriately considering David Campbell composed the strings for both songs. Despite the ambivalence towards the track—as it closes out the album—it’s undoubtedly an instant classic.

As cliché as it may sound, The 1975 is back—and better than ever. They managed to entirely reinvented their sound so effortlessly—a feat that doesn’t work for all groups—while addressing the dark side of the digital age. With their fourth album—“Notes On A Conditional Form”—already in the works and set to release in 2019, it’s safe to say poetry will be in the streets for the foreseeable future with The 1975 dominating the charts.