With “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships”, The 1975 returns to the music scene, two years after their album, “i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful, yet so unaware of it”. “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” is the first of a three part musical era that the band has dubbed, “Music for Cars”. In it, the band addresses Matty Healy’s past drug addiction and rehabilitation, as well as broader themes of social media, postmodernism, and social and political issues.
The album maintains their alternative pop style while allowing the band to dip their toes into a more experimental style and sound. Distortion and manipulation are key elements used throughout the album with offbeat keys, autotune, and even a monologue from a male Siri robot (in the mid-album monologue, “The Man Who Married a Robot / Love Theme”). “Love It If We Made It”, and “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” have a classic Brit-Pop sound, but with a twist of something different, newer. “Be My Mistake” is another beautiful addition to the album, stripped down and melancholic. Songs like, “Love It If We Made It”, “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)”, and “Surrounded By Heads and Bodies”, are most notably about Healy’s addiction and rehabilitation. In addition to the lyrics, the progression of the album reflects the highs and lows of addiction. By juxtaposing the sticky-sweet pop of, “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME”, and the dark and harrowing strain of, “How to Draw / Petrichor”, The 1975 are able to create an album that equally makes the listener want to cry as much as they want to dance.
With “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships,” fans and critics alike are welcoming the change, happy to hear progress sonically and lyrically. In the past, The 1975 were often dismissed by critics as a pop boy band- probably due to their heavy fanbase of teenage girls. However, The 1975 demand to be taken seriously- as do their fans. This is perhaps what makes the band so successful- their brutal honesty, wit, and demand to be heard.