Doesn’t it seem like the internet has been talking about new The 1975 music since the dawn of time? In what has seemed like an eternity since it was first teased back in spring, the Manchester indie-pop outfit have just released their latest full-length effort, titled A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships – and brief it is not, clocking in at just under an hour of new music from the band. With it has come a great deal of critical acclaim from many outlets, and an almost stratospheric level of hype from The 1975’s adoring and dedicated fan base.
If you were to judge A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships based on the singles released in advance alone, you can draw the conclusion that some of the hype is indeed justified. The absolute standout being ‘Love It If We Made It’ – a sure contender for song of the year, if not decade. In a four-minute odyssey of social commentary and millennial angst, frontman Matty Healy delivers his most passionate vocal to date amongst dazzling pizzicato string stabs and a driving rhythm section. It’s powerful, innovative, and is 1975 at its absolute finest. ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’ feels like a natural successor to ‘This Must Be My Dream’, harking back to the 80’s pop scene with a beautifully executed refrain, refined synthesizers, and bright, airy guitar work. The intimate vintage pop/rhythm and blues ‘Sincerity is Scary’ is one of the more left-field compositions on the record, yet it is one of the most satisfying.
There are some incredible pieces of music to take note of on ABIIOR that undoubtedly should be regarded as some of The 1975’s most mature and refined work, and Matty Healy and company should be absolutely commended for at least attempting to not be the pop band that everyone loves to hate on. It’s sad however that the drops into complete creative insanity and banality do undermine the album as a whole, as otherwise, it could be worthy of even greater heights. Unfortunately, no extensive Dirty Hit marketing campaign can gloss over the fact that it sadly isn’t a consistently well thought out album. Let’s hope for a more even effort from the upcoming Notes On A Conditional Form to round off the Music for Cars era.