Dan Stubbs, writing for NME:
A Cole Porter-like jazz song sounds like a standard and has the killer lyric “I fight crime online sometimes”; a new wave pop song is outwardly about love but is not so subtly an ode to heroin (“I’ve got a 20-stone monkey on my back”), there’s a fragile, beautiful ballad about guilt, one song employs the kind of plastic piano sound last heard on Glenn Medeiros’s ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You’; a ‘90s-style alt-rock track, ‘I Always Wanna Die Sometimes’, is a stirringly moving song about depression; a spoken word piece, voiced by Siri, skewers our relationship with the internet in a modern parable. And even in this jumbled up state, it sounds like a masterpiece, a game-changer, a bar-raiser. An absolute stone cold legend masterpiece. It sounds like they’ve done what Matty said all that time ago: they’ve made ‘OK Computer’ for a new generation of kids – ’Snowflake Computer’, if you will.
Dorian Lynskey, writing at Billboard:
Really, The 1975 only qualifies as a rock band in the sense that it is a commercially successful group of four men who play instruments, which makes them an endangered species in 2018. Their albums include almost everything but straight rock. The self-produced A Brief Inquiry, out in November, ranges from Auto-Tuned house to blue-eyed soul, art-rock to the Great American Songbook. Their fourth album, Notes on a Conditional Form, will be more intimate, nocturnal and cinematic. Healy doesn’t think there’s anyone else in The 1975’s lane.
He selects a song that doesn’t sound at all anxious. It is surprisingly loose after ILWYS’s gleaming 80s pop architecture: all spilling piano chords, trumpet solos and vocals from the London Gospel Community Choir. It is about forgiving and mending himself. “I’m scared of the world,” he says. “I’m not scared of myself any more.”
Sparkling with Springsteen-like festivity, “It’s Not Living If It’s Not With You” is about addiction: “Collapse my veins wearing beautiful shoes,” Healy sings. There is a mellow song about rehab and he reckons their “Drake-y” tropical house experiment will be their biggest hit. The night before, Healy saw James Taylor live and marvelled at the simplicity of his enduring hits. One lounge jazz number on the album is exactly that kind of love song, about passing the age where young people once settled down, and loosely fits the album’s theme of how the internet affects relationships, says Healy.
Early thoughts: This band continues to aim high and hit far more than they miss. This song is awesome and feels potent, unique, and, like almost all The 1975 songs, captures a mood and vibe in the music. I’m so happy to be alive while this band is in their prime. This album is shaping up to be special.
“We’re doing things a little bit differently in this campaign,” Oborne said. “Very early on, Matthew [Healy, frontman] noted that the promotional window on music is shorter than ever, and the time that people consume it is infinite.
“He felt very strongly that, if we have a tour cycle that’s going to last 18 months to two years, we have to release two records in the time that we would have previously have released one.”
Dirty Hit will release A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships in Q4, and Notes On A Conditional Form in Spring 2019, with the backing of its joint venture with Polydor.
The first and most recognizable part of the song is the looped Adam Hann guitar riff that sounds almost abrasive, however the lyrics and Matt Healy’s vocals quickly bring the listener in with his trademark croon. The drum beat from George Daniel is precise and consistent, with very little variation. This beat is likely intentionally simplistic to bring the attention back to the lyrical content and soaring choruses. The bass line from Ross MacDonald complements the drum beat, however it’s not in the forefront as much as it was on the band’s previous two full lengths. The guitar and vocals are clearly what propel this song.
I loved going out on stage and talking to 12,000 people. I didn’t like going back to my hotel room and sitting on my own for another three hours and then being expected to go to bed when I wanted to, I don’t know, change culture or something ridiculously grandiose. […] And I knew that I wasn’t going to detox myself, so I went away and I got clean. I wasn’t going there to get straight edge, I didn’t have a drinking problem or anything else, I was just chemically dependent on a substance and I didn’t wanna make a record as a fucking junkie. Who wants to hear that?