Review: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

The 1975’s latest album is a relatable statement about life in the 21st century


Anna Woodward, Staff Writer

Bold and fresh, The 1975 has released yet another album that is perfectly modern. The English band, which consists of Matty Healy, George Daniel, Ross MacDonald and Adam Hann, recently released their third album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. The album was highly anticipated and fans hoped that it would match up to the previous two; thankfully, it did.

Just by looking at the album’s cover, you can tell it’s different from the previous ones. While the covers for The 1975’s first and second albums are essentially the same photo with a different color scheme, this simplistic design was a clear indicator of something new. It wasn’t my personal favorite–the design was just a bit too simple–I respect that they took a risk and made it different from the previous covers. The title itself was perfectly picked. A major theme in many of the album’s songs is the internet and it’s effect on life. What I found interesting is that the “online relationships” in the title may not be referring to one between people, but one between people and society, and people and themselves; something that is accurately reflected through the songs themselves.

The album starts with their distinct song “The 1975.”  For each of their albums, The 1975 includes a variation of this short song, which features the iconic opening lines “Go down / Soft sound.” It’s these four words that get any fan hyped for the rest of the album, so putting a spin on the song specific to that album is critical. This time, the band opted for a seemingly robotic sounding vibe, in which Healy’s voice sounded almost auto tuned, just without the associated cringiness of auto tune.

The most artistically different song on this album would have to be “The Man Who Married A Robot / Love Theme”. This song was unlike any I had heard before. Instead of the structure of a typical song, this one sounded more like Siri reading poetry. I didn’t expect anything of this sort to be on the album, but it still intrigued me. I found this song especially interesting because the closer that I listened, the more I realized how relevant this song was. With lyrics like “the man trusted his friend so much / ‘I feel like I could tell you anything’ / ‘you can, you can tell me anything, I’m your best friend…”, it’s easy to find a connection between the song and the general trust that we associate with the internet today. I would love to see what the band does with this song live, since it has such a different style.

One song that was essentially a statement about society was “I Like America & America Likes Me”, which featured a set of lyrics that particularly stuck with me: “Kids don’t want rifles / They want Supreme / No gun required!” Even with such simple words, The 1975 conveys a meaning that is, sadly, relatable to many high schoolers today, especially in the wake of the Parkland shooting. With lyrics like this, it was easy to relate to the song, which isn’t hard on the ears either.

“Love It If We Made It,” was released as a single and is one of my favorites on the album. The song had more pg-13 lyrics, but it was easy to listen to and very upbeat. “Love It If We Made It,” is a song that you would hear on the radio and immediately turn up. Despite being instrumentally upbeat, the lyrics in this song reflect the message that The 1975 conveys in their title by featuring a simple yet effective line: “Modernity has failed us.” The song also mentions immigration, Kanye West, the late Lil Peep, and a cry for help in the lyric “Jesus save us!” These references keep the song relevant and a reminder of the state of our society.

The only thing I would change about this album besides the cover is the release of the singles. The 1975 released five singles prior to the full album, which were all upbeat and catchy. While each of these singles hyped me up for the album, I wish that a variety of songs had been included.

ABIIOR combines classic sounds with relevant references, making it an artistic statement worth listening to. In a society that requires confining expectations, ABIIOR is a down-to-earth, breath of fresh air that unapologetically breaks them.