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The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships (Album Review)

Tuesday, 04 December 2018 Written by Liam Turner

It can sometimes be difficult for an artist to capture the zeitgeist. Even if they know what to say, they often struggle to find the right way to say it. Not so for Matt Healy and his 1975, who haven’t just captured the zeitgeist—they’ve wrestled it into submission, stuffed it in a cage and made it perform tricks for our amusement.

‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’, the band’s third LP, is a record that couldn’t be any more current. From its unsanitised dissection of this year’s biggest talking points to its shameless espousal of en vogue musical tropes, Healy and co. have somehow conjured up perhaps the most culturally relevant record of 2018.

It’s also, like the band’s frontman, a scatterbrained affair. Genres flip from one song to the next, and, at first glance at least, little thought appears to have gone into the structure, pacing and themes of the thing. Look a little deeper, though, and you’ll see the meticulous, considered designs that underpin it.

Take, for instance, the way Healy starts the record off by offering wisdom afforded by his 29 years—on the Joy Division-aping Give Yourself A Try—to his telling the listener not to take his advice just a few songs later on How to draw/Petrichor.

Then there’s the way the sparse Surrounded By Heads and Bodies, a song dedicated to ‘Angela’, a woman Healey befriended during a stint in rehab, directly follows the beguilingly poppy It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)—a song written about Healy’s own struggles with addiction. To say the attention to detail here is impressive would be something of an understatement.

The record also possesses the rare ability to make you both laugh and cry—sometimes in the same song. The Man Who Married A Robot/Love Theme tells the tale of a “lonely man in a lonely street in a lonely house”, aka @SnowflakeSmasher86, who uses the internet to “get him cooked animals and show him people having sex” to “make him feel better”. The song’s conclusion is both tragic and comic, a feat made all the more impressive when you consider the whole thing is narrated by the male Siri.

‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’ is a special album for an uncertain time. Is it pretentious? Sure. Is it too ambitious for its own good? Definitely. But it’s also knowing, self-aware and on the ball. The result is the genre-defying, grandiose statement Healy promised it would be.

The 1975 Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed January 09 2019 - BELFAST SSE Arena Belfast
Thu January 10 2019 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Sat January 12 2019 - GLASGOW SSE Hydro
Mon January 14 2019 - CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Wed January 16 2019 - BRIGHTON Centre
Fri January 18 2019 - LONDON O2
Sat January 19 2019 - LONDON O2 Arena
Mon January 21 2019 - EXETER Westpoint Arena
Wed January 23 2019 - BIRMINGHAM Arena Birmingham
Thu January 24 2019 - MANCHESTER Arena
Fri January 25 2019 - SHEFFIELD FlyDSA Arena Sheffield
Fri August 23 2019 - READING Richfield Avenue
Sat August 24 2019 - LEEDS Bramham Park
Sun August 25 2019 - GLASGOW Bellahouston Park

Click here to compare & buy The 1975 Tickets at Stereoboard.com.



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