The 1975’s latest album “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships” turns a critical eye to the manifestation of technology in everyday life. Released on Nov. 30, the record showcases the band’s diverse sound. The album goes from soft acoustic tracks to hard rock and from spoken word to indie pop.
The album’s opening song, “The 1975,” features a chaotic blend of muddy harmonies and unpredictable moments of pure silence. The vocal tracks are reminiscent of Imogen Heap’s classic “Hide and Seek.” This dynamic vocal arrangement becomes a trope for the rest of the record and makes its first comeback in “How to Draw / Petrichor.” The first half of the song blends ambient piano melodies with childlike wind-chime sounds, followed by a jolting transition to a glitchy, electronic dance music-style beat with distorted vocals. The blending of these vocals with a variety of synthesized instrumentation makes “How to Draw / Petichor” one of the more unique songs made by a popular modern alternative band.
“A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships” also includes well-known hits by the band that were debuted as singles before the album’s release. “Give Yourself a Try” has become a smash hit, gaining traction on alternative radio stations across America. Apart from hit singles like “Give Yourself a Try” and “Love It If We Made It,” the band moves away from their well-known indie pop vibe throughout the album with songs like “Be My Mistake” and “Surrounded By Heads and Bodies.” Both tracks feature refreshing combinations of serene acoustic guitar lines and mild vocals.
Adding to the variety of genres is a striking spoken word piece titled “The Man Who Married A Robot / Love Theme.” The song depicts a lonely man who finds friendship and intimacy in the personification of the internet. The entire track is narrated by British male voice of Apple’s Siri. “The Man Who Married A Robot / Love Theme” is a unique attempt at social commentary which forces listeners to face the startling reality of the modern intertwining of man and technology.
Continuing their big data theme, The 1975 close the album with “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes).” The track is a conclusion of the band’s commentary on the virtual world we live in. The film soundtrack-like music imparts a cinematic ending, featuring strings by David Campbell from the Goo Goo Dolls.
“A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships” showcases relevant themes, both musically and rhetorically. The album not only highlights The 1975’s versatility but also leaves listeners contemplating the complex and often disturbing reality of the internet’s impact on our lives.
Artist: The 1975
Album: A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
Label: Dirty Hit/Polydor
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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