Now Reading: “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships”: A Track-by-Track Review of the 1975’s Newest Album


“A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships”: A Track-by-Track Review of the 1975’s Newest Album

December 2, 201814 min read

The 1975 is a pop band that rose to fame in the United Kingdom in 2012 after the release of their first EP Facedown. Since then, they’ve released mind-blowing albums such as The 1975 and I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It, gaining attention from millennial and Gen Z pop fans across the globe. Just yesterday they released a new album called A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, and it absolutely lives up to the band’s reputation of being relatable while maintaining originality.

“The 1975”– The album’s first song has a slow start, but it unexpectedly picks up in an exhilarating fashion. At first, it sounds like someone is just casually playing the piano, but all of a sudden, an electric surge of music and lead singer Matty Healy’s voice gets thrown in, too. My favorite line is “taking over your mouth so you breathe through your nose”. I think it’s an interesting way of describing a kiss. This song was a very short intro to the rest of the album, but definitely made an impact on it as a whole. 

“The Man Who Married A Robot/Love Theme” This song, which is by far the most interesting of them all, is a story about a man addicted to the Internet. He never steps away from his computer, and Healy tells how the man considers his computer his best friend, his life partner, his everything. It symbolizes how we as a society are addicted to our screens and how sometimes lonely people turn into creepy versions of themselves when they’re hiding behind them. Maybe the message about society being online addicts is overused in this day and age, but then again, so is the Internet.

“Give Yourself A Try”– This song is about aging, and how people learn a lot about the world and themselves as they get older. Since the members of the band are a little older than many of their listeners, I think it’s great to relay a message that at some point, the world won’t be so confusing – it kind of gives teenagers like me a reason to believe that one day, we might not be so lost. This song is upbeat and inspiring. It makes me realize how much I’ve grown and how I want to give myself a try.

“TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” – This song is about cheating on a girlfriend and includes the usual excuses about how it was unintentional and the guy in the relationship didn’t want to hurt anyone. The song’s fun and energetic vibes contrast the disappointment and dishonesty that lay between the ex-couple. The only thing I dislike about this song is that it is really repetitive. I love that The 1975 does their best to be open in their songs, and this track is a great example of them doing just that.

“How To Draw / Petrichor” – “How to Draw/Petrichor,” is a song that starts out with relaxing sounds and contains a lot of beautiful words that I feel are important to the band’s vibe. I think we’d all be more confused about the meaning of this song if Healy weren’t the amazing artistic weirdo that he is. This song adds a vibrant energy to the album that up and coming pop writers wish they could say they created.

“Love It If We Made It”– Sex. Drugs. Ignoring feelings. These are the general themes of the song, as well as a general idea we get from a lot of other 1975 songs. However, this song is one of the only ones on this particular album to really reference drug use- maybe because Healy has gone to rehab since their past albums? It discusses the problems with this world and becomes very political. My favorite lyrics are “Thank you Kanye, very cool,” and “Modernity has failed us,” and “The war has been incited, and guess what? You’re all invited” because we worship that idiot, we forget the past, and we’re letting violence live on- maybe songs like this will spark change.

“Be My Mistake” – Pretty song, very odd lyrics. I don’t know if it’s about hooking up with someone from his past, or someone he just shouldn’t be around in general, but he definitely knows it would be a mistake to be with them in any way. I think we all want someone we shouldn’t have at some point in our lives- it’s like a phase we need to go through in order to be with who we should be with.

“Sincerity is Scary”  I like the trumpets! Who in modern-day pop music uses trumpets in their music? The 1975 does, and they totally pull it off! “I’m sure you’re not just some other girl, I’m sure you’re going to say that I was sexist”. I think it’s about taking advantage of girls, and it’s really bold of them to admit that they’ve taken advantage of girls. I’d rather listen to a band who turn their mistakes into art than a band who just tries to keep those mistakes out of the tabloids.

“I Like America & America Likes Me” – “I’m scared of dying.” These are lyrics stated in this outstanding song, which is so significant to the album because it brings up points that are important in society right now. We’re all scared of dying, I think- most of us fear the unknown. I think this song is about gun control. Why can’t we fix the gun problems that are killing people who are scared of dying? Healy says “Would you please listen?” which is what all of us are begging right now. The song is about protesters, young people living in cities and standing up for themselves, America’s obsession with money and power (“Is that designer?”), and about the pursuit of happiness that America is supposed to be about. Out of all the songs on this album, this one stood out the most to me.

“Inside Your Mind” – This song is eloquently written and requires the listener’s ability to pick it apart in order to fully understand and enjoy it. The most moving quote was “the back of your head is at the front of my mind, soon I’ll crack it open just to see what’s inside”. It reminds me of Declan McKenna’s music, which is of similar style to that of The 1975. This song talks about basically ripping open someone’s brain to see what’s in there- something I think everyone yearns to do as they daydream of someone special. This song shows the agitation people have when they can’t quite figure someone out, but they want to. 

“It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)”– I love the sense of appreciation I feel from this song, which has a theme of loss threaded into it. I think it’s common for people to realize how much they grew because of someone after that person isn’t in their life anymore, and it’s really upsetting but simultaneously it’s a really beautiful thing and this track really says it like it is.

“Surrounded by Heads And Bodies” – This song is ridiculously deep and obviously really meaningful for Healy. The title of the song, “Surrounded by Heads and Bodies” comes from the opening sentence of the late David Foster Wallace’s book, Infinite Jest,  which Healy read while in rehab. The song itself is about a woman named Angela who resided near Healy in rehab, who must have been a close friend of his because he sings “…I see her in my sleep, Angela oh Angela…”. I absolutely love this song and how it gives listeners anecdotes from Healy’s experience with trying to get better.

“Mine”- “Mine” is a beautiful song about finding someone to love, and how if you don’t settle down, that’s perfectly fine, and you’re not wasting anybody’s time by dating without the intention of proposing. I think they felt the need to write something like this because a lot of people don’t want to get married, have kids, and build a white picket fence- and that’s perfectly fine. Unfortunately, though, everybody knows at least one person who won’t get off their backs about the importance of living by society’s predetermined timeline of adulthood. People need to hear that living in an “abnormal” is perfectly respectable.

“I Couldn’t Be More in Love” – Contrasting “Love it if We Made It,” this song actually acknowledges the presence of feelings in our lives and demonstrates how overwhelming they can be. The effervescent vibration of the music behind Healy’s smooth voice made me fall in love with the song the way he seems to have fallen in love with someone. “What about these feelings that I’ve got?” is repeated throughout the song, embellishing the artists’ frustrations with acknowledging their own emotions. This is another song that really stuck out to me on the album.

“I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)”– This is dreamy fairytale kinda song, with background music that resembles music by Secondhand Serenade, but the song itself is a little more twisted. The lyrics are representing frustration with life that we all seem to have these days, but the music behind it sounds uplifting and encouraging. It’s kind of like they’re trying to relate to people who are miserable by giving them chords that make them want to live. By the end, it goes into about 45 seconds of really deeply toned music and it perfectly finishes off the album.

If you’re a fan of artists like Declan McKenna, Billie Eilish, or Post Malone, you’d love the 1975 and their new album. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is accessible on Youtube, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and several other music providers.

Featured Image Credit: British GQ

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Jilleen Barrett

Hey! My name is Jilleen Barrett and I'm from Long Island, New York. I attend college in New York City. I love to travel, read, and write- mostly reviews! Check out my reviews of "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj," and "You".

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