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A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by The 1975 Explores what it Means to Live in our Technologically Driven Society

Album Review

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A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by The 1975 Explores what it Means to Live in our Technologically Driven Society

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Phi Kasem-Beg

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Since debuting almost out of the blue with their first EP six years ago, the UK Indie pop band The 1975 has released their most recent album at the end of last year. Frontman Matthew Healy, otherwise known as Matty, claims that this will be the band’s most introspective album, and it is rightfully named so; A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships explores what it means to live in our technologically driven society. The album dives into themes such as unfaithful relationships in the digital age, social anthems that criticize the world’s current social climate, and several introspective love songs. Healy has proved his statements true, as this is the band’s most ambitious and unique release to date.

The album has a total listening time of 58 minutes, yet listening to the album all the way through is somewhat painless and doesn’t feel like an hour long tracklist. The band continued the use of opening their past albums with the song “The 1975”, but with a different variation of stylistic choices that correspond with each album’s style. Lyrically identical, but stylistically different for each album’s sound and aesthetic, the song acts as a thread that ties the band’s discography together. The song opens with a gentle string of piano chords, but is abruptly juxtaposed with autotuned and a somewhat harsh sound. The track following the introductory song, “Give Yourself A Try”, provides a take on growing up in the modern age, with such difficulties as drug addiction, aging, and the pressures of society. Without the lyrics, this upbeat song sounds very familiar to the band’s past songs that involve an almost happy and optimistic tune that contrasts with the introspective lyrics.

“A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” Album Cover

One of the several standout tracks that have gained critical acclaim in the music industry is “Sincerity Is Scary”. The track begins with an upbeat jazz tune that is blissful to listen to as Healy’s vocals paired with the backtrack flow smoothly together. This feel-good song actually holds a deeper meaning as it highlights the tendency for a person’s need to use a facade out of fear and anxiety of what others think of them. Another track that holds a heavy meaning paired with an upbeat tune is “Love It If We Made It”. The song incorporates many allusions to modern society, such as sexist quotes and controversial tweets from President Donald Trump, Kaepernick’s NFL protests, the neglect towards Syrian refugees, and widespread drug addiction. This song poses as a social commentary for our modern society, with the song lyric “Modernity has failed us” repeated throughout the song before the chorus.

If there is any sort of solution to our modern predicament, it involves stepping outside, risking a broken heart, and searching for connections beyond the screen.

Although the album has several great tracks, there are a few songs that feel almost out of place and clash with the rest of the album’s overall feel. “I Like America & America Likes Me” is one of the individual tracks that doesn’t necessarily flow well with the rest of the songs on the album. The heavily autotuned synth track is somewhat jarring, yet it holds a purpose for the entirety of the song. The lyrics explore gun violence in America and the fear that it holds over the lives of teens still in school. The content of the song relates to the rest of the social commentary aspect of the album, but it isn’t easy to enjoy upon the first listen. Another song that holds little entertainment value is “The Man Who Married A Robot/Love Theme”. This song is somewhat of a poem narrated by Siri, a program designed and owned by Apple, that explores loneliness, social media and internet addiction involving a man who fell in love with his phone. The spoken word portion of the song holds the right message and warning about internet addiction, but at times it is quite boring to listen to and hard to enjoy. The instrumentals following are beautiful with pianos, violins, paired with synth, and are relaxing to listen to. The idea for this song feels almost incomplete and appears to be missing the depth and hard work that was placed in the other songs, making this track seem like an afterthought.

Overall, in this modern age, the album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by The 1975 explores what it means to live in our current society shaped by technology. This album is worth the hour of time it takes to listen to, with upbeat songs that explore the deeper meanings of the effect it has on society.

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About the Writer
Phi Kasem-Beg, Reporter

Phi Kasem-Beg is a senior participating in her first year of journalism. She enjoys taking long walks on the beach, kombucha and chill, and criticizing...

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