Over the last few years, The 1975 have turned themselves from just another pop-rock outfit to one of the most creative and captivating groups of today. While their self-titled debut album cemented them as an uplifting pillar of possibilities and potential, it was their follow-up 'I Like It When You Sleep...' that really saw them break the mould as to what they could be and gave us one of the most engaging releases of that year. Now they return with their highly-anticipated third album 'A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships', a record that sees them pursue far more of their pop direction.
The one thing that made their sophomore release such a brilliant listen was its use of powerful production outside of the regular indie-pop aesthetic, resulting in a more anthemic and memorable sound. Much of that idea has carried over onto this new release, but with far more focus towards the band's radio-friendly and accessible image. Meaning that while this album still maintains that forward-thinking approach, the songwriting takes far less risks than its predecessor, making it less of an ambitious release but one that simply sees them stick to what they know and work that as hard as it will go.
It may not have the full-on bangers of their last two full-lengths, but 'A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships' still sits as a bold and vibrant collection of pop-based singles. This new focus in their sound makes for a very enjoyable listen, but with less of the risks taken from the second album, it falls within its shadow only just.