Review: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by the 1975

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by the 1975When I reviewed the 1975’s last album I was quite frustrated, with how it tried to bring together its poppy sensibilities with an experimental streak. I found it jarring. In hindsight I was perhaps too harsh on the album, but then, two years later, it’s now clear just what the gang are planning to do. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships sees the British band elevated from just another indie band coming out of the UK to an unlikely leader of the post-millennial pop movement, stripping your social media feed of most of its banality and getting to the heart of the matter. Or at least that’s how it feels. It’s weird how I enjoyed this album more than I expected to, despite the even wider stylistic scope making for an even more manic, whiplash-inducing album. (Is it the 80s channelling of the last two tracks?) Matt Healy here finally perfects his somewhat omniscient presence, commenting seemingly on anything and everything – and yet distilling those hot takes into the essentials. Sure, the album could still do with some tightening up (it’s 58 minutes long; the length makes the gimmicks feel more gimmicky than the band intended) but A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is a step up for the 1975. That said – and this is all me – I feel too old for this record. That might be getting in the way, ultimately. [NB]3/5

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