By: Claudia Siregar |
As we all know, Matt Healy and friends are back in town with another album after throwing out a few songs online (Give Yourself A Try and Sincerity Is Scary to name a few). The heavily anticipated album (at least it was heavily anticipated by fans) presented us with 15 tracks, all either with the usual 1975 touch – or not at all, which makes this album quite an interesting one.
After their last album’s soft electro-pop vibes, The 1975 has decided to do a bolder approach on their sonic aesthetics for this album. Even though they’re obviously not straying from their usual “indie electro pop made by hippies for the public” theme, the songs from this album have a more retro feel compared to the previous ones. While the first 1975 album was a touch of modernity mixed with alleged influences from bands such as Suede, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships gives us more new wave and post-punk vibes mixed with fun electropop (check out Give Yourself A Try – very reminiscent of Joy Division’s Disorder), acoustic elements (The 1975 did this with the track Nana on their previous album – they did this again with Be My Mistake on A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships) and even jazz (check out Sincerity Is Scary).
One word: EXPERIMENT.
The music is largely experimental compared to the previous two 1975 albums, what with the fusion of genres, the “loud song – chill song – loud song” pattern (try comparing TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME with How To Draw / Petrichor) and signature 1975-style songs such as Love It If We Made It and It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You) (very reminiscent of the songs from their first album such as Settle Down and Girls). As for the the theme itself – the youth and pop culture (the centre of every 1975 album it seems) and inquiring into online relationships – which is only present in some of their songs such as The Man Who Married A Robot / Love Theme, not present and consistent enough to call the album a concept album…
Experiments do not play a large role when it comes to the album’s conceptual theme and design, apart from the blending of the various retro musical genres. The theme is rather insignificant and not very representative of anything at this point, compared to the first album’s iconic “rich sad kids just wanna have fun, make out, and cry at the same time” feel, even if it’s meant to picture a generation of young people in “online relationships”. Still, the album, its retro x modernity touch, and its pop culture references has the potential to capture the youth’s heart, which is what The 1975 has always been successful at doing.
Kudos to Matt Healy and bros for once again making RETRO modern again!