A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

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A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships.png
Studio album by
Released30 November 2018 (2018-11-30)
GenrePop[1]
Length58:26
Label
Producer
  • George Daniel
  • Matty Healy
The 1975 chronology
I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It
(2016)
A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
(2018)
Notes on a Conditional Form
(2019)
Singles from A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
  1. "Give Yourself a Try"
    Released: 1 June 2018[2]
  2. "Love It If We Made It"
    Released: 21 July 2018[3]
  3. "TooTimeTooTimeTooTime"
    Released: 15 August 2018[4]
  4. "Sincerity Is Scary"
    Released: 13 September 2018[5]
  5. "It's Not Living (If It's Not with You)"
    Released: 18 October 2018[6]

A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships is the third studio album by English pop rock band The 1975, released on 30 November 2018 by Dirty Hit and Polydor Records. It was produced by band members Matthew Healy and George Daniel, and it's the band's first album to not be produced by regular collaborator Mike Crossey.

Following the release of the band's second album, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It, Healy announced the album with a working title of Music for Cars, sharing the name with the band's third extended play, although it was later clarified that Music for Cars was an "era" for the band, rather than a single album.

A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships was promoted by the campaign for "Music for Cars" and is the former of two albums released within the era; the latter, Notes on a Conditional Form, is expected to be released on 31 May 2019. The band have released five singles from the album: "Give Yourself a Try", "Love It If We Made It", "TooTimeTooTimeTooTime", "Sincerity Is Scary" and "It's Not Living (If It's Not with You)".[7] Upon release, the album received critical acclaim, with some critics comparing the album to Radiohead's OK Computer,[8][9][10] and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. The band will embark on a world tour starting in January 2019.

Background[edit]

Starting with the release of their self-titled debut album three years prior, The 1975 began to enjoy acclaim that continued on their second album, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It. It was released on 26 February 2016 to mostly positive reviews from critics, as well as debuting atop the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200.

However, in November that year, drummer George Daniel posted a video containing audio and frontman Matthew Healy playing keyboards; it was captioned "2018".[11] ln an interview for Dork for an end-of-the-year issue, Healy also stated that "I just know we'll definitely put out a single next year or an EP which will lead up to the album which I reckon will come out early summer 2018...."[12]

On 3 April 2017, Healy declared on Twitter that the second album's campaign was concluding before posting "Music For Cars".[13][14] The name was previously confirmed as the album with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 later that same month, as well as confirming the connection to the EP of the same name, the third of four EPs released to promote their debut album.[15] Another video released in July showed I Like It When You Sleep's neon sign flickering off before stating Music for Cars and the year, 2018.[16]

Promotion and singles[edit]

On 31 May 2018, the band released "Give Yourself a Try" as the lead single from the album, premiering as Annie Mac's "Hottest Record in the World" on BBC Radio 1 that same day.[17] "Love It If We Made It" was released as the second single on 19 July.[3] On 15 August, "TooTimeTooTimeTooTime" was released as the third single from the album. On 13 September, "Sincerity Is Scary" was released as the fourth single.[5] The fifth single "It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)" was released on 18 October.[6]

"Music for Cars"[edit]

At the end of April 2018, cryptic posters titled "Music for Cars" appeared in London and Manchester, containing taglines and a Dirty Hit catalogue number, DH00327, amongst a black background.[18] Various billboards were also spotted in the United Kingdom, having used détournement to apply themselves over existing advertisements.[19]

Over social media, the band frequently released different posters titled "A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships".[20][21] Furthermore, the initialisation "MFC" appeared in small print across all further promotional graphics, sometimes accompanied by "2018 - 2019".

In an interview for Beats 1 on 31 May 2018, Healy stated that "Music for Cars" is an "era" rather than a single album, spanning 2018 and 2019. Though first reported to be the title of the band's 2018 album, Healy has stated that "Music for Cars" contains both A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships and a followup album, Notes on a Conditional Form.[22]

Tour[edit]

At the Latitude Festival in July 2017, it was announced that the band would begin touring again in October 2018.[23] In April 2018, Oborne commented that the band will deter from "surprise" or "pop-up" shows in order for the tour to be "the biggest live spectacle in the world". Upon the premiere of "Give Yourself a Try", Healy stated the band would start touring in January 2019.[citation needed]

Artwork[edit]

Eschewing the neon signs of previous albums, A Brief Inquiry features the band name, album title and track list, vertically on the cover. A minimalist graphic design based on pixelation accompanies the text. The "Music for Cars" initialisation "MFC" appears in the lower left corner of the cover and on the spine of the packaging.[citation needed]

Release[edit]

The band updated their website to display a timer counting down towards 1 June at the beginning of May 2018, becoming active again on social media.[24] Within its first hours, it was revealed to contain a hidden zip file with four individual posters, each of the names leading to a hidden page on the website that displayed a conversation between a 'human' and a 'machine'.[25]

The album was originally slated to be released in October 2018,[17] but was finalized as 30 November on 10 September.[26]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?8.2/10[27]
Metacritic87/100[28]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[29]
The Daily Telegraph5/5 stars[30]
The Guardian4/5 stars[31]
The Independent4/5 stars[1]
Mojo4/5 stars[32]
NME5/5 stars[8]
Pitchfork8.5/10[33]
Q5/5 stars[34]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[35]
The Times5/5 stars[36]

The album garnered almost universal praise from critics. According to review aggregator Metacritic, the album has received a weighted score of 87 based on 24 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[28] Dan Stubbs of NME awarded the album five stars out of five, likening the album to a millennial version of OK Computer and summarised: "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."[8] Ryan Dombal of Pitchfork gave the album a score of 8.5, earning it the Best New Music tag, and called it "outrageous and eclectic", as well as "similar to its predecessor in its boundless sense of style, swerving from Afrobeats to brushed-snare jazz balladry to one track that sounds like a trap remix of a Bon Iver ayahuasca trip", but "more purposeful" than I Like It When You Sleep.[33] Time considered it one of the Best Albums of 2018, placing it at number nine on their list.[37]

In a mixed review, AllMusic reviewer Matt Collar stated "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."[29]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by George Daniel, Adam Hann, Matty Healy and Ross MacDonald, except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."The 1975"1:34
2."Give Yourself a Try"3:17
3."TooTimeTooTimeTooTime" (Guendoline Rome Viray Gomez, Daniel, Healy)3:28
4."How to Draw / Petrichor"5:49
5."Love It If We Made It"4:13
6."Be My Mistake"4:16
7."Sincerity Is Scary"3:45
8."I Like America & America Likes Me"3:26
9."The Man Who Married a Robot / Love Theme"3:33
10."Inside Your Mind"3:50
11."It's Not Living (If It's Not with You)"4:08
12."Surrounded by Heads and Bodies"3:56
13."Mine"4:06
14."I Couldn't Be More in Love"3:51
15."I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)"5:14
Total length:58:26

Personnel[edit]

The 1975

  • George Daniel – drums, percussion, synthesizers, programming, production
  • Adam Hann – guitar, keyboards
  • Matthew Healy – vocals, guitar, keyboards, production
  • Ross MacDonald – bass guitar

Additional musicians

  • The London Community Gospel Choir – backing vocals (tracks 5, 7 and 11)
  • Roy Hargrove – horns (track 7)

Technical

  • Mike Crossey – mixing engineer
  • Robin Schmidt – mastering engineer

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[39] 4
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[40] 61
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[41] 44
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[42] 178
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[43] 15
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[44] 36
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[45] 57
Irish Albums (IRMA)[46] 4
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[47] 39
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[48] 9
Scottish Albums (OCC)[49] 1
South Korean Albums (Gaon)[50] 51
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[51] 62
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[52] 16
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[53] 89
UK Albums (OCC)[54] 1
US Billboard 200[55] 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Monroe, Jazz (28 November 2018). "The 1975, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, review: A coherent pop statement'". The Independent. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Give Yourself A Try – Single by The 1975". iTunes Store (UK). Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The 1975 – "Love It If We Made It"". 19 July 2018.
  4. ^ Blais-Billie, Braudie (15 August 2018). "The 1975 Share New Song "TooTimeTooTimeTooTime": Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b "The 1975 release new single 'Sincerity Is Scary'". The Fader. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b "The 1975 unveil lyrics to new single 'It's Not Living If It's Not With You'". NME. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  7. ^ Burks, Tosten (15 October 2018). "The 1975 – 'Love It If We Made It' Video". Spin. Retrieved 31 October 2018. The song is one of four lead singles from The 1975's upcoming third album...
  8. ^ a b c Stubbs, Dan. "The 1975 – 'A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships' review". NME. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  9. ^ Moran, Rob (29 November 2018). "How The 1975 created 'the millennial answer to OK Computer'". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  10. ^ Feldberg, Isaac. "The 1975's latest could be called 'RT, Computer'". BostonGlobe.com.
  11. ^ Daniel, George (13 November 2016). "2018". Instagram. Retrieved 9 November 2017.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "It looks like The 1975 might be about to drop a new EP". Dork. 6 November 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  13. ^ Matthew Healy [@Truman_Black] (3 April 2017). "I like it when you sleep is coming to an end" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^ Matthew Healy [@Truman_Black] (3 April 2017). "Music For Cars" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ Gordon, Jeremy (27 April 2017). "The 1975 Announce New Album Music for Cars". Spin. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Video on Instagram". Instagram. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  17. ^ a b Rettig, James (31 May 2018). "The 1975 – 'Give Yourself A Try"". Stereogum. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  18. ^ Murphy, Sam (29 April 2018). "The 1975 Tease Return With Cryptic Posters in the UK". Music Feeds. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  19. ^ Graves, Shalin (6 May 2018). "The 1975 Are Using Détournement to Hijack Billboard Ads in the UK". Coup de Main. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  20. ^ "The 1975 have 'done a thing'". DIY. 29 April 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  21. ^ Shutler, Ali (29 April 2018). "The 1975 have shared a new update, titled 'A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships'". Dork. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  22. ^ Beats 1 [@Beats1] (31 May 2018). ".@Truman_Black says @the1975 are working on 2 albums: "We're doing 'A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships.' Then I think May next year, we're dropping 'Notes on a Conditional Form.'"" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  23. ^ Daly, Rhian (15 July 2017). "This is when you'll next be able to catch The 1975 on tour". NME. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  24. ^ Cummings-Grady, Mackenzie (2 May 2018). "The 1975 Is Counting Down to Something on Their Website". Billboard. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  25. ^ Ackroyd, Stephen (2 May 2018). "The 1975 are at it again, with a hidden conversation on mortality". Dork. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  26. ^ Kreps, Daniel (10 September 2018). "The 1975 Detail New LP 'A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  27. ^ "A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by The 1975 reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  28. ^ a b "A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships by The 1975". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  29. ^ a b Collar, Matt. "A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships – The 1975". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  30. ^ McCormick, Neil (30 November 2018). "The 1975, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, review: who needs a singer when you have Siri?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  31. ^ Petridis, Alexis (29 November 2018). "The 1975: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships review – sex, social media and the state of the nation". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
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  34. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (January 2019). "Sign o' the Times". Q (393): 104.
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