The 1975 is back and unapologetic.
The 1975 is a band that continues to push the boundaries of what 'pop music' can be; they're known for their chilling ballads, electric melodies, and soothing instrumentals. With their self-titled debut album, the 1975 broke out onto the rock scene, yet they added their own touch by mixing genres and experimenting with instrumentals and vocals. Although they were considered a rock band, their self-titled album featured songs with electropop and indie rock auras. Then, with their next album, "I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it," their eclectic sounds once again range from dancy ballads to acoustic lullabies to modern rock, but with a heavier emphasis on the pop music. This was the album that gave us bops like "UGH!" and "Love Me." Spearheaded by main vocalist Matt Healy's push against mainstream pop music, the band has reinvented what the genre can mean with their second album. Then, their third album, "A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships" came out on November 30, 2018.
On the surface, their newest album follows the same structure as their previous ones: composed of heart-warming love ballads, exciting pop songs, and soft instrumentals. But the band always has a way to disguise their deeper essence behind innocent-sounding songs with the use of fun names and flashy instrumentals. For example, "Love It If We Made It," sounds like a song you blast in the car with friends, but the lyrics, "Oh F*ck your feelings / Truth is only hearsay / We're just left to decay / Modernity has failed us" suggests otherwise. In that song, the 1975 examines modern society through a critical lens, highlighting hot topics like immigration, religion, drugs, and politics. Another example is "I Couldn't Be More In Love," which sounds like any typical love song, yet it was actually recorded the day before Healy entered rehab last year where he croons about the end of a long relationship and how it has affected him. He sings "But what about these feelings I've got?" with immense compassion; you could feel his pain seeping through the lyrics as he explores post-breakup emotions.
Not only are the vocals and lyrics masterfully planned, the instrumentals perfectly shapes the mood each song is distinctly trying to portray. The album overall starts with high energy songs like "Give Yourself A Try" and "TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME", which feature the higher range on electric guitars and keyboards. Then, more mellow songs like "Mine" and "I Couldn't Be More In Love" feature jazz elements, with its skillful use of the saxophone and a choir.
"A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships" reflects a sense of maturity and growth within the band, and it has the ability to transfer that feeling onto anyone who listens close enough. From listening to their self-titled album in 2013 as a young angsty teen to listening to their second album in 2016 as a naive high schooler, I can proudly say that I'm listening to their newest album in 2018 a little wiser and a little more in love with The 1975.