I don't know what's going on, but there must be something in the air because all of my favorite artists and groups are releasing amazing music lately and I honestly can't function. I had to listen to this album a couple of times to really understand it and appreciate it, but now that I've listened to it over and over again, I have to say... I'm obsessed. Following Matty Healy's (lead singer) recovery from heroin abuse, I was really curious as to what their new album would sound like. Their singles totally threw me off, but I think the band did that on purpose. This album is honest, ironic, and different - all in a good way. Covering the topic of relationships in this new age of technology and our modern age, the album transcends our time.
1. The 1975
Of course, at the beginning of each album, the band has an interlude and it is always titled "The 1975". Each really introduces the listener to what the rest of the album will sound like. It provides an epic introduction to the era they are in with their writing and sound and it's interesting to compare all three of them now that A Brief Inquiry has released. As this is an album that explores the themes of relationships in modern times, it is only fitting that the interlude to this album uses heavy auto-tune. It gave me chills the first time I listened, well, because I am a huge fan, and once you finish the album you realize how truly perfect it is. It completely summarizes the point the band is trying to make with their music.
2. Give Yourself A Try
I really don't like this song. Truthfully, it feels out of place with the rest of what the album sounds like. Sometimes that can be a good thing, but not in this case. This was the very first single they put out and after listening to the whole album I don't understand why at all. I get the point of the song but the constant ringing of the electric always distracts me. I'd love an acoustic version of this song so the message was better received. The song is quite dark and makes a lot of statements but because of how busy the video is and how loud the instrumental is, you kind of lose sight of what's important here and again, I think they did that on purpose, which makes it brilliant. However, I still want an acoustic version... thanks Matty get on that.
(pictured in cover photo) The song is about unfaithful relationships. Again, this is one of the really fun, upbeat songs that happens to cover a topic that is normally explored through sadder, slower songs with other artists. What The 1975 does that supports their claims about romance in the modern age is mask their important arguments with songs like these. Making it casual and fun just as we humans do when it comes to love and relationships. Never taking it seriously.
4. Love It If We Made It
This was another single the band put out. At its release, I really didn't like it. Then, I actually listened to it. I read the lyrics and absorbed it. This song is so important. I cannot say it enough. Matty is yelling the lyrics of this song almost like a cry for help. He makes many references to political issues, things that have happened in the U.S. specifically, exposes our social institutions and in general, tells the honest truth of our reality all within a 4-minute anthem. It has a sound very similar to their last album in the middle of the second chorus, that brought me back and made me appreciate the song even more. It was new 1975 meets the old with a very important message attached.
5. Be My Mistake
This might be my favorite song on the album. I have listened on repeat more times than I can count. I just love the sound of an acoustic guitar and with the gentile random note-playing of the piano accompanying it, I was brought into my feelings. The raw emotion of this song will resonate with many people who have been in a relationship and lost the one they loved because they were the one to mess up. Healy claimed this song comes from a place of guilt and the song is really about realizing how you may have messed up your priorities a bit and lost your values. The lyrics are probably the most honest on the record and it's personal, unlike the rest which are reflections of us as a society.
6. Sincerity is Scary
This is a bop. This song is different from the rest in that there are horns in the background with a sort of jazzy beat. The song is about how it's hard to find someone sincere and that our culture is the cause of our disingenuous actions and behaviors. It also touches upon how when relationships end in modern times, there is always this "ghosting" or hating each other instead of taking the lesson and moving on and being grateful for it. It's a song about how we as humans have become too insecure to be authentic.
7. I Like America & America Likes Me
The band addresses U.S. political issues earlier on the album, but this whole song is about gun violence. Lead singer Matty Healy holds this issue very close to hum and has often spoken out against guns. It's quite repetitive in both melody, sound, and lyrics and I think that's to grab the attention of the listener and emphasize the weight of the issue.
8. The Man Who Married A Robot/ Love Theme
I don't know if this is even considered a song because it is just dialogue with light piano and techno in the back, but it explicitly discusses the relationship between human and technology. If you're into this kind of artsy fartsy mid-album interlude, then you will like it. it is essentially a poem recited by siri that encapsulates the weirdness that occurs when "the human experience" (as Healy claims) is taken out of the picture.
9. Inside Your Mind
This soft-rock ballad is all about wanting so badly to know what is happening or going on inside your partner's head that you would go to extreme's to know or get their attention.
10. It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)
I love this one. It reminds me of "The Sound" and "UGH" from their last album. The literal sound is very similar. Though at first listen one would think this is another song about love it's actually about lead singer Healy's relationship with heroin. He told the press that he wanted to write this song in order to tell his truth and open and honest about the struggles he faced while in rehab in Barbados. I think that's another beautiful thing about the 1975's music is that you can apply the lyrics of their songs to really anything that pertains to you personally. For all, the band knows, the listener could connect this to an ex-lover, an addiction of any kind, losing someone or something - whatever causes them to share the same struggle as Healy.
11. Surrounded By Heads and Bodies
This song is dedicated and based off of a woman Matty met while in rehab and titled after a book he was reading while there. There's not too much to this song lyrically, but clearly, the listener can infer that she had an impact on Healy while he was in Barbados. The song is quite eerie and light and I think that it adds to the serious undertones of the message this album is putting out.
I love guitar a lot, but when there is simply a piano and a voice, it is really beautiful. Like "Sincerity is Scary", there is sort of a jazz feel to this tune, which one wouldn't expect for an alt-rock band. It's different than most of the songs, and yet again, discusses the topic of commitment in relationships. Having similar conversations within songs, but with different sounds and all kinds of lyrics shows the different facets that we as humans can take when it comes to love in the modern world.
13. I Couldn't Be More In Love
I really love this one. The key change was strange to me at first, but eventually, it came to make sense to me. The song is about how it feels when no one cares anymore. It includes a killer guitar solo and amazing background vocals that give the song some serious soul. It is powerful, and to me, is the rawest record on the album. You can hear the desperation in Healy's vocals, unlike any other song.
14. I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)
It's a toss-up between this track and "Be My Mistake" for my favorite on the album. The whole vibe of this song reminded me of "Robbers" from their previous album. It was the track that hit me the hardest when listening 2 years ago and this was the track that really got me while listening to their new album. The ironic title and killer falsetto and guitar really make it the perfect ending to the album. It captures the entire theme of the album.
Check this album out, if you're really into this type of music. You will not regret it.