The 1975 captures the zeitgeist in “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships”

The 1975, a modern pop rock band from Manchester led by Matthew Healy, recently released its album, “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” which perfectly captures the voice of a generation. By mixing the controversies from the past decade with the lighthearted mentality of people, the album perfectly captures life in 2018.

The cover of “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” is a simplistic, white background with pixelated specks of different colors spread apart randomly. “The 1975” is the first track on, “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,” “DH00278” and “The 1975.” The words are slurred and sluggish to create a dreamlike, hazy effect.

The second track, “Give Yourself a Try,” differs from “The 1975” because every word is well articulated and possesses overly energetic emotions. Behind the initial blast of energy, this song holds deeper concepts like, “I found a grey hair in one of my suits, like context in a modern debate I just took it out.” The sarcasm employed pokes fun at the lack of reasoning behind present day arguments, and it highlights millennials’ carefree attitude toward life. The 1975 connect to their listeners by being relatable and shedding light on significant moments or tendencies of people.

The 1975 tackle the uncomfortable yet realistic topics in their fifth song of the album, “Love It If We Made It.” The music video of this standout song features dozens of videos that capture human indecency and cruelty such as the video “I Can’t Breathe” which displays five officers constraining an innocent man to the point where he cannot breathe. The start of the song is serene up until Healy begins to sing at a fast pace as if he were ranting. Every word that Healy shouts is jagged but seem to be directed at nothing because the sound from the phrases fade away. The hook of the song, “I’d love it if we made it” is asking whether the human species as a whole can continue living without exterminating ourselves. Despite the deep, almost ominous message of the song, the chords in the accompaniment are upbeat which creates an eerie effect when set alongside Healy’s descriptions of horrific events. The positivity of the underlying parts of the song represent humans being too caught up in their own worries to notice the human race crashing down.

The album closes on “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” which is unlike most of The 1975’s songs because the instruments are acoustic rather than computer generated noises. Healy’s voice also shifts from the sharp voice from the previous songs in the album to a smooth, rolling sound which matches the sentimental theme of the song. Healy warns people that committing suicide “won’t happen to you, it happens to your family and your friends.”

“A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” is characterized by Healy’s wide vocal range and unorthodox perspective towards modern age problems. The album is an anthem for our generation and represents the turbulently changing times through Healy’s passion-filled lyrics.

By Kelvin Wong, Staff writer
Photo Courtesy of Polydor Records