English alternative synthetic pop band The 1975’s third studio album, “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships,” was released last Friday, Nov. 30. This album is the band’s first self-produced work, and it features fifteen songs after a two year hiatus.
It is clear that this album retains the sound that The 1975 has cultivated with their past albums, as the synth beats and stylistic auto-tuned echoes are still prevalent. There does not seem to be much growth in regard to Matt Healy’s vocals as well as the general production of the album.
However, the most prominent feature of “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” is also its best: the words. With this album, Healy decided that it was time to make a political statement through his lyrics.
On the song “I Like America & America Likes Me,” there is a comprehensible mockery that Healy displays towards popular American culture and the societal expectations revolving this concept.
The lyric “Kids don’t want rifles, they want Supreme” stands out as an example of Healy brilliantly comparing two controversial arguments in society, demonstrating how rifles and designer brands are both issues under the umbrella of classism.
The political objections do not stop there. Instead, and rightfully so, they intensify. “Love It If We Made It” is the band’s most controversial song on the album, calling out President Trump and issues in American law enforcement.
The lyric “Selling melanin and then suffocate the black man” is a prime element to the song, relating to how American society culturally appropriates the minorities they oppress.
“Unrequited house with seven pools / ‘Thank you Kanye, very cool!’” is in negative ode to President Donald Trump, referring to his Seven Springs mansion and his tweet in support of Kanye West. Healy has made it very clear in the past that he opposes actions the President has taken, so including the shout out added an interesting touch to the track.
A notable feature that complements the meaning behind “A Brief Inquiry” is the album artwork. There is not a lot of detail to the cover at all, and this simplicity fools listeners listener. A basic white background with standard text and a few colored squares for decorations makes the album appear to be an easy listen.
However, after an in-depth listen, “A Brief Inquiry” is just the opposite. Although The 1975 did not expand their artistic borders instrumentally, it is evident that their lyrics are vastly changing for the better. If one wanted to know why The 1975 are praised as much as they are, “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” is a lucid illustration of their genius.