BY ELENA VALDEZ
Love oftentimes occurs behind a screen. Online dating is not as simple as sending messages and liking pictures. The 1975 captures the highs and lows of a modern romance, as well as an abundance of other matters one might be exposed to online, in their third studio album “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships.”
The album was released on November 30 of this year, following the release of several single tracks, beginning with “Give Yourself a Try” in May.
The intertwining of personal relationships and social media presence is showcased throughout the album. At times, it seems that lead singer Matty Healy is screaming for others to hear him. His tone varies throughout the entirety of the album, from upbeat, memorable songs such as “Love if we made it” and “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” to softer, acoustic ballads such as “Be My Mistake” and “Mine.”
The widespread influence of technology is shown in “How To Draw/Petrichor.” It begins as a beautiful and soft melody but toward the switch to Petrichor, the song takes a turn toward a malfunctioning computer.
“A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships” tackles a wide array of topics, all of which are amplified by an online presence. Social issues such as gun violence, technology reliance, addiction and the many insecurities that come along with love are all touched upon.
“The 1975” kicks the album off with a piano/synth-based self-titled track, which hints at the rest of the album’s content. It then delves into the already popular “Give Yourself a Try” and “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME,” both of which are casually entertaining listens.
The widespread influence of technology is shown in “How To Draw/Petrichor.” It begins as a beautiful and soft melody but toward the switch to Petrichor, the song takes a turn toward a malfunctioning computer. It presents a juxtaposition which is reminiscent of the need to connect with others in such a distant and distracted society.
“Love It If We Made It” is a highlight of the album, laced with meaning and significance. Aside from being incredibly well-written and catchy, Healy calls upon society to think. He mentions everything from the refugee crisis, racism in the United States and even Kanye West’s bizarre political motifs.
Without a doubt, “Inside Your Mind” is the most touching love song on the album.
“Be My Mistake” and “Sincerity Is Scary” shift the focus to love once again, as it would not be a 1975 album without aspects of hopeless romance. These songs are both relatively soft compared to the rest of the album. “Be My Mistake” deals with rebound relationships and never quite getting over being in love. “Sincerity Is Scary” follows suit as it questions why our insecurities and fear of vulnerability interfere with being close to someone.
Although they are a British band, The 1975 touch upon gun violence and mass shootings in America with the song “I Like America & America Likes Me,” where he opens with “I’m scared of dying,” illustrating how it seems the right to own guns is more important than human life.
Siri stands at the mic in “The Man Who Married a Robot/Love Theme,” as he speaks to the obsession society has with the internet. A man spends his life online and once death approaches him, he is only remembered by a website.
Without a doubt, “Inside Your Mind” is the most touching love song on the album. Healy’s vocals are extremely clear and his talent as a songwriter shows through once again. Accompanied by piano, drums and starry-eyed lyrics, it encompasses the wonder of being completely enamored with another and the constant fascination lovers face.
Similar to their previous albums, the songs do seem to muddle together at certain points in a wave of autotune and computer-based beats.
Love, however, can be extended past a person and into a substance. The band’s vocalist, Healy, speaks of his struggle with addiction in the song “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You).” He tells a story of a man named Danny that is actively dealing with a heroin addiction. Immediately following the story of Danny, the song “Surrounded By Heads And Bodies” is an anecdotal tale of Healy’s time in rehab.
The next track, “Mine,” is another love song backed by calming piano and soothing vocals. The lyrics question why marriage is seen as a necessity in loving someone. “I couldn’t be more in love” is a wondersome rise of emotion that prepares listeners for the resolution of the album. The song reminisces on losing everything for the sake of love and it demonstrates just how hard feelings are to shake away.
The album’s closing track “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” is a genius finish, as it remembers those who have taken their own lives while the title still sounds like an Instagram caption. The small metaphor here further serves the purpose of the rest of the album: how societal misconstruction has complicated love and life.
Similar to their previous albums, the songs do seem to muddle together at certain points in a wave of autotune and computer-based beats. As a disembodied voice it seems,
- Variety of song topics
- True to the band’s distinct sound
- The songs do seem to muddle together at certain times
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan