The 1975: A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

The 1975 formed in Manchester, England. The band is led by vocalist and rhythm guitarist Matty Healy. In addition, the band consists of another guitarist, bassist, and drummer. On November 30, the band released their third album. In “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships,” the 1975 is consistent with their previous sound, while experimenting with new musical elements.

In the previous two albums, the band starts off with the self-titled track “The 1975,” so naturally, this is the first song on the new record. Although the lyrics remain the same, the sound has progressed with each album. All three have a powerful, mystical vibe. Particularly, this album starts off with Healy tinkering on a piano very quietly and transitions into Healy singing with a loud, powerful voice effect creating the sound of a choir behind him.

“Be My Mistake” pushes the typical sound produced by the 1975. Healy is on vocals with the acoustic guitar as the main instrument on the piece. The lack of remixed sound is a new idea for the sound of the group.  

Following this track is my personal favorite on the album. “Sincerity is Scary” incorporates brass instruments, as well as the keyboard to create a very unique sound that is very specific to the 1975. The lyrics speak a lot to how many people are afraid to be authentic and sincere in our society. Healy sings, “And why would you believe you could control how your perceived?” showing how many people fear revealing their true emotions in today’s world.

Unfortunately, following my favorite song is my least favorite track on this album. The group goes a little too crazy with the autotune in “I Like America and America Likes Me.” It feels like Healy is screaming, not singing. Furthermore, the mix behind the lyrics goes beyond their dream pop style and has an aggressive beat. This song is my one complaint with the album.

The group redeems itself with one of the final tracks on the album, titled “Mine.” This one slows down the album with the use of the piano, cymbals and brass, creating a classic smooth jazz sound. I would recommend this track to anyone who is skeptical about the 1975; it presents the musicality the 1975 is bringing to the table on this record.

“A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships” delves into our relationship with this instant access to information. The 1975 is definitely challenging our media consumption, particularly in America and how it has affected interpersonal skills in individuals. Particularly, the idea that we must always have an ironic, insincere front up, as if we were our physical social media profiles

Many consider the 1975 a bubble gum pop boy band. Although they definitely have that classic boy band sound in some songs, this group has continued to impress me with their use of classic jazz instruments and smooth sounds throughout their albums, particularly this newest release.

About Colleen Hogan

Colleen is a Chicago native, studying communication at UIUC. You can catch Colleen taking naps on the Quad or showcasing her killer dance moves at any party she attends. You DO NOT want to challenge this girl to a dance-off.

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