The 1975 are, if not, the UK’s largest alternative product this side of the century. Now their third album; A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships has made it’s way into the stratosphere, it’s time to breakdown the 15 track saga in what Matty has described, the first of his long term musical escapades.
We’ve been incredibly hyped up with a variety of singles throughout the duration of this year. From the Afro-Beat infused ‘TOOTIME’ to the textbook 1975 ‘Love It If We Made It’. Each song stronger than the last showcasing a wide variety of styles, fusions and textures which has left fans confused by the musical direction of the entire album.
For me, I knew it was going to go one of two ways. We were either getting a album that has a musical journey from start to finish. Point A to B. Not messing about, hits in between with some great slow and fresh fillers that make the music bearable. Or, we were getting a jumble sale of an erratic grasp at an outside perspective of what a lead man with too much time on his hands, moaning about how shit it must be to have nobody love you whilst living in your sweet arse apartment in LA.
It’s difficult to enjoy this album when it’s concept is so literal. It truly takes the subject matter and squeezes every last juice out of it’s skull like a watermelon on a hydraulic press. The song ‘The Man Who Married A Robot / Love Theme’ is simply just the piano riff in all the promo videos with the voice of male Siri talking over the top. It’s not even a short skit either. It fully goes on for more than a minute and a half.
There are some saving graces to this album. ‘Mine’ is a stunning slow swing number with the full string section and a bit of brass. It’s a ballpark away from traditional 1975 but it’s a stunner to truly be admired. If Sinatra sang that song, it’d be in his greatest hits every year. You know? The one they release in Tesco that you buy your Grandad as a shit present. It’s the kind of song you want to get stoned in the bath too. ‘I Couldn’t Be More In Love’ is another slow jam. This time from the 80s. It’s painfully synthesised with chimes, features that classic drum beat and a very Hall and Oates piano to match with an all too sexual guitar solo to match. It truly belongs in Top Gun – especially the scene where Tom Cruise is riding his bike in the sun. Vocally a stunning tune with an all important key change.
I was genuinely looking forward to what this album could’ve been. If you’re looking for a traditional The 1975 response to an album, this really isn’t it. In places, some of their best work musically and lyrically, but we’re then gifted to some overly produced concepts and ideas that have been milked to the absolute extreme. Thank you, Next.