Album of The Week – The 1975 “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships”

The 1975’s third studio album, “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships”, was released on the 30th November 2018.

The album is one of two albums the band plan on releasing within 6 months, with “Notes on a Conditional Form” planned for release in May 2019. This is their first album since “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It” was released in 2016, that album which went certified Platinum and reached the top of the album charts in both the United Kingdom and the United States, resulting in massive standards for this album.

The album itself, which was produced by Matty Healy himself and partly recorded in the famous Abbey Road studio, certainly lived up to the expectation musically, the production on the album is outstanding, giving a sort of gospel sound off over many of the tracks.

The album contains 15 songs, spanning over 58 minutes, a rather long album, which personally for me is sometimes a problem as I very easily get bored of the same sound, which unfortunately, this album does.

The band released 5 of the songs as singles, these are some of the stand out songs on the album with “Love it if we made it” and “Give yourself a try”, which features samples from Joy Division, being two of my favorites due to their classic 1975 sound.

Starting off with a rather gospel number in the self-titled song, “The 1975”, when reviewing this album this song really stood out to me, its gospel undertones and rather brilliant production made it a very enjoyable listen for me and probably one of my favorites off the album.

The album, despite its obvious focus on the production over lyrics, does have some relevant themes within the album, “Love if we made it” being the outstanding one, addressing topics such as American national anthem protests and the untimely death of rapper Lil Peep.

Other songs on the album that weren’t released as singles like “Be my mistake” and “Couldn’t be more in love” are brilliant songs, the former being a very slow, acoustic number, something not usually heard within the bands releases, it allows the listener to hear Matty Healy’s vocals better than ever before.

On the other side I did find some problems with this album, a few songs, like “TOOTIMETOOTIME” and “I Like America & American likes me”, were rather repetitive, outlining the fact I believe they cared a lot more about the production over the lyrics and maybe eventually sound and “The man who married a robot / Love theme” seemed completely out of place, maybe seen as an interlude, it was a bad choice, really making me not want to listen to the second half of the album.

In a whole I was skeptical about this album, I slated the album instantly due to its pop genre sound but after a few more listens it has grown on me. This album is defiantly worth a listen, but you’ll find it hard to reach the end.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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Album of The Week – XXXTentacion “Skins”

XXXTentactions posthumous album “Skins” was released on the 7th December 2018, released just 6 months after his untimely passing.

The album itself was teased ever since his release of “?” at the start of 2018, after two incredibly touching albums in “17” and “?”, there was a lot of anticipation over this album, not just from his true fans, but from the whole rap industry, posthumous albums are a often scrutinized due to labels approving things the artist themselves may not have approved if they were alive, however, with this album, X’s close friend and producer John Cunningham stated that “The songs and the ideas and the vision of it all was done or very close to being done.”

The album contains 10 songs, spanning over 19 minutes, a very short album, but something not new to X’s fans.

“BAD!”, the 5th song on the album is the only single release, it peaked at 16th on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Starting off with a classic X introduction, something he has done on both of his other studio releases, it gives a brief explanation to his thoughts on why he created the album.

My personal favourite songs off the album are “Guardian Angel” and “What are you so afraid of”, they provide a classic melodic sound, similar to songs off his previous albums, one of my favourite parts of the album is the production behind “Guardian Angel” as throughout the song, the backing of “Jocelyn Flores” is played backwards.

XXXTentacion brings it back to his early releases with songs like “Train food” and “STARING AT THE SKY” these songs are both very deep and dark, with the latter having a Screamo sound to it.

One of the massive talking points off the album would be the song “One Minute” featuring Kanye West, having someone like Kanye working with an original Soundcloud rapper like X is huge for the industry and also someone who X’s friends stated he always wanted to collaborate with, Kanye’s verse is exceptional and if you can listen through the Screamo sounds it is well worth it.

Overall the album is something I have had on repeat due to how easily listening it is, being a massive XXXTentacion fan, I find it hard to be critical, I personally am not a fan of “STARING AT THE SKY” which is to me the only skippable song.

If you haven’t yet, give this album a listen, well worth your time.x album cover

Overall Rating: 8/10