AOTY 2018

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2018 Ratings: #83 / 709
Year End Rank: #23
User Score
Based on 488 ratings
2018 Ratings: #461
November 30, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Dirty Hit, Interscope, Polydor / Label
Art Pop, Pop Rock / Genres
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the1975.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
NME
Clever and profound, funny and light, serious and heartbreaking, painfully modern and classic-sounding all at the same time, ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’ is a game-changing album, one that challenges The 1975’s peers – if, indeed, there are any – to raise their game.
100
Dork
It isn’t just a great album - it’s a generation-defining masterpiece.
100
DIY
It makes for an album that’s comprehensive in its voice, brutally honest, and musically broad. It also manages to turn what could be a deeply personal album about the frontman’s struggles and triumphs into a universal statement on the times we live in.
100
musicOMH

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships isn’t perfect. It isn’t the best album released this year, and it doesn’t have any of the best songs released this year on it. But what it does have is scope, vision and scale, together with power, texture and atmosphere.

100
The Telegraph
What they have done, perhaps better than anyone else, is to adapt the swaggering gang manner, art-school aspirations and rebellious conviction of a classic rock combo for the shiny, instant-gratification impulses of our digital pop era. It's a fusion that - in a time when rock is routinely dismissed as dead - might just prove to be the genre's greatest hope.
100
The Skinny

There's so much going on in this record, but it's far from a case of throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is a considered, ambitious album from a band who are constantly pushing themselves.

91
Consequence of Sound
The 1975 don’t presume to have all the answers, but their sincerity and vulnerability make for a tremendous record that speaks to the state we live in. It’s their best work yet.
90
The Line of Best Fit

Comparisons will be made to Radiohead’s OK Computer, another era-defining third album that examines the internet’s effects on our interpersonal lives. But A Brief Inquiry… actually resembles Kid A’s best two tracks, “How to Disappear Completely” and “Motion Picture Soundtrack” – music that wrenches magnificence from the barest bones of humanity. By interrogating the strategies we employ to keep on living in an impossible world, this astonishing album has become one.

85
The 405

A Brief Inquiry is a record of substance that manages to both poke fun at and be a product of its time. The 1975 might be white-boys with guitars, but they're so much more than that.

85
Pitchfork
The British band’s outrageous and eclectic third album attests to the worth of putting in an honest effort in the face of near-constant gloom.
84
GIGsoup

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is an album that confidently (maybe over-confidently at times) blends a plethora of musical genres to further exacerbate The 1975’s already unique style.

80
The Independent

On their third and best album, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, The 1975 have created what so many post-Radiohead bands couldn’t: a coherent pop statement with enough hope, radical honesty and genre-spanning breadth to make sense across divided generations.

80
Exclaim!
The messiness of the whole thing seems to be the point, part of its audacity. In most artists' hands, that would be a recipe for creative bloat. Yet more than ever before the 1975 prove themselves masters of the form.
80
Drowned in Sound

As much as everything about the record’s presentation suggests polish and clean lines, from the minimalist artwork to the consistent piano leitmotif to George Daniel’s production (shiny enough to see your face in), it’s the points at which A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships veers away from the preset aesthetic that feel the most profound.

80
The Guardian

A Brief Inquiry is not the unqualified triumph the 1975 had in mind. It’s stronger and punchier than its predecessor, but has moments where the group overreach. You could argue it’s rather confused, but, as Healy would doubtless point out, it is meant to reflect the times we live in, and they’re pretty confusing.

80
The Observer
Overall, it’s not as gleeful as their last one, but melodic light relief abounds.
80
God Is in the TV
It’s an engaging listen from a band who have quickly become as special as they think they are.
80
FLOOD Magazine

The 1975’s third album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, finds a balance between joy and self-seriousness. It’s the quartet’s finest and most decadent album to date, showcasing how they can shimmy from the eerie sway of Radiohead–alternative rock to an upbeat horn-laden style of Chance the Rapper, then hop over to illustrious jazz lounge singing, all in an album’s swoop without losing their pointed, witty lyricism.

80
Slant Magazine

Manchester pop outfit the 1975’s third album, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, tackles anxiety, addiction, trauma, self-loathing, disillusionment, cynicism, and death. Dark subject matter, to be sure, but the music around it—a thrilling combination of sophisti-pop polish, post-punk attitude, and art-student swagger—is incandescent.

76
Sputnikmusic

It’s an impressive album, even if it remains mostly in-bounds of what you’d expect. Great albums don’t need to define a generation or open doors to other worlds, they just need to make great music - and Inquiry does exactly that. It’s a batch of quality pop songs – nothing more, nothing less.

73
Paste
For good or for ill, The 1975 have mastered the 2018 sound—a hyper-sweet confectionary of computer rhythms and dance beats and electro-breath echoes that is the hallmark of far too many albums. But underneath the puffy synthetics, they’ve also proven themselves capable of real rawness, an album for the good times as well as the tough.
70
Clash
It’s romantic, existential, frantic, and disorganised, and that ultimately strange mix of tones, genres, and production all adds into a singular esthetic.
70
No Ripcord

The 1975 have been working their way towards this moment since their debut effort, and on A Brief Inquiry, they up to ante to a staggering degree. It's far-reaching in scope but it's also conceptually uniform, a beautiful mess of an album from a band who is inching their way towards the imperial phase of their career.

70
Rolling Stone
A sprawling, thoughtful LP that grapples with the big issues of our time in cheeky and mournful ways, it’s a poison-pen love letter to the interiority forced upon its audience by social media, piercing through the flatly punctuation-mark-free affect that dominates online chatter with brute-force musical curiosity and a well-placed gospel choir or two.
60
AllMusic
Taken as a whole, the album is often as disparate and difficult to wade through as the social-media landscape it hopes to comment on.
60
The Needle Drop

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is bolder in theme and aesthetic than The 1975's previous albums, but not all of the band's risks pan out.

60
Spectrum Culture
There are those who will celebrate the artistic ambition and wonder at the genius of such a diverse and challenging record and there are those who will simply wonder whether or not the band has completely jumped the shark.
76fex
34
This album emits a stench similar to the stench of Lorde's most contrived songs off Melodrama. I tried to maintain some semblance through the first two tracks, but every next song proved to be more noxious than the last. The production is nearly pristine, complimented by a dazzling exhibition of un-artistry! It's not as tasteful as the band would like for you to assume. Matthew Healy conveys a fetching facade, and girls will swoon to the album's "dramatic" arc (probably trembling ... read more
MySoftBulletin
83
While I admit the early critic reviews have overhyped this record to some extent, I do believe there is a fair connection to be made with comparing this album to Ok Computer. It is nowhere near the level of quality of artistic ability, but there is a common connection with the substance of both records. A Brief History Into Online Relationships is a topical approach to what can be described as 'millennial problems.' The album deals with depression, drug addiction, isolation, modernity, and ... read more
morningsbell
52
One similarity between this and OK Computer: the best track on both albums is the 4th track

Other than that, this album sounds like what happens when your 80s new wave cover band try to be Aphex Twin and Travis Scott at the same time. It had some good moments but also a lot of boring moments that dragged down the album's quality as a whole. The lyrics didn't improve that much unlike some instrumental techniques, although if The 1975 really want to have their music live up to the degree of ... read more
dyelir
87
Across an album where they try their hand at seemingly every sub-genre within reach (including Soundcloud rap, riddle me that), The 1975 have crafted a modern day rock opus full of relevant topical lyrics. It's not perfect -a few songs would be better off with a shorter runtime or not being included altogether- but you can tell that Matthew Healy and Co. are not afraid to fail here and in doing so, they come out the other end with their best album by a mile.
PipePanic
88
Sounding like Radiohead writing for Frank Ocean, it's a critical but never nihlist look at modern culture, with enough neosoul and jazz influences to make this dreamy and classical-tinged pop album feel a lot more then what's going on under the surface. Filled with ochestral arangments and the usual rock instrumentals, it's sometimes pinpoints what it's like to be a teenager in the modern age, and sometimes becoming somewhat like a more interesting (if not slightly more cheesy) Coldplay. And ... read more
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MISC LISTS

#20/Rolling Stone (Pop)

Track List

  1. The 1975
  2. Give Yourself A Try
  3. TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME
  4. How To Draw / Petrichor
  5. Love It If We Made It
  6. Be My Mistake
  7. Sincerity Is Scary
  8. I Like America & America Likes Me
  9. The Man Who Married A Robot / Love Theme
  10. Inside Your Mind
  11. It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)
  12. Surrounded By Heads And Bodies
  13. Mine
  14. I Couldn't Be More In Love
  15. I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)
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Added on: September 2, 2017