A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
Critic Score
Based on 43 reviews
2018 Ratings: #55 / 880
Year End Rank: #30
User Score
2018 Ratings: #347
Liked by 175 people
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It isn’t just a great album - it’s a generation-defining masterpiece.
As the 15-track album progresses, it’s lyrical content stays true to the two opposing introspective and observational paths that have been marked out by the early singles, whilst allowing it’s musical style to veer wildly across all lanes.
Louder Than War

At last, their masterpiece. After two albums that threatened world domination and artistic reverence, A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships is the intellectual and musical zenith The 1975 always promised.


With A Brief Inquiry, The 1975 have released an album that rivals the brilliance of I Like It When You Sleep and builds on it, arguably replacing it as their crowning moment.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.
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.
Modernity has failed us, but The 1975 haven’t.
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.

Spill Magazine

Contrary to their prior storytelling messages, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships gives us frontman Matty Healy’s take on society’s biggest problems: politics and technology. Nevertheless, Healy continues to express his darkest moments.

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.
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.


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.

The Observer
Overall, it’s not as gleeful as their last one, but melodic light relief abounds.
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.
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.

The Irish Times

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is a pained reflection of troubling and lonely times but through expressing their own isolation, they may have switched on a light for many others.

Evening Standard

A Brief Inquiry is not without its flaws but it’s never boring.

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.

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.

God Is in the TV
It’s an engaging listen from a band who have quickly become as special as they think they are.
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.

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.


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.

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.
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.

It’s romantic, existential, frantic, and disorganised, and that ultimately strange mix of tones, genres, and production all adds into a singular esthetic.
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.
The Young Folks
The 1975 certainly have admirable ambitions for a pop band and it’s nice to know that they’re starting to reign themselves in.
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.

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.
The Arts Desk
The ambitious pop-rock outfit return with an album that's interesting, but overlong.
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.

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships ends up being a middling mess of genre-hopping. The 1975 decided to try a bit of everything and the results are just completely scattershot songs.

Under The Radar

At best, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships could be described as slightly passable background music. At worst, a self-indulgent mess that's taken far too many stimulants in the early hours and believed its own hype.


I can't lower my score on this, I just can't. It's certainly not one of my favorite albums of all time anymore, but I still love it to death. I really expected it to grow off me because I haven't re-listened to it in over a year. Fortunately, I still really enjoy listening to it, it reminds me of simpler times.


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


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




i yawned.. there is no need to say more..


It was fine but any time it tries to be serious, I want a vasectomy.

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Added on: September 2, 2017