THE 1975 is a British pop band, not a graduate seminar's sparsely attended lecture series, though the titles of its most recent albums certainly invite that clarification.

The bold, eclectic 'A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships,'' from 2018, found the verbose, self-aware frontman Matty Healy moving deftly between arena-sized anthems and confessionals ballads, serving up cheeky Twitter-era bons mots on the pitfalls of fame, mortality and contemporary life.

[''Danny says we're living in a simulation,'' he sang,'' but he works in a petrol station.'']

Now, a year and a half later, comes the 200-level-curriculum : ''Notes on a Conditional Form.''

As the group has evolved beyond the tuneful, glammy emo-pop of its 2013 self-tilted debut, the 1975 - Healy, the multi-instrumentalist George Daniel, the guitarist Adam Hann and the bassist Ross McDonald - has repositioned itself as a band increasingly porus to the historical present and just about every music genre that exists within it.

''Love it if We Made It,'' a highlight off its last album, was a lyrical collage of surreal headlines and Internet jargon [''Poison me daddy,'' Healy sang, with all the force and decontextualized irony of a Jenny Holzer installation].

Few songs have so potently captured the very particular cocktail of numbness, absurdity and stubborn hope that characterizes the internet age.

The 1975 tows a precarious line : Any band willing to make earnest pronouncements about The Way We Live Now is constantly risking empty grandeur and songs that age like broken hyperlinks.

Still, being achingly self-aware and post-post everything, the band has also succinctly summed up the strongest argument against itself in the title of one of its own songs : ''Sincerity is Scary.''

In 2017, Drake - an artist with similar thematic concerns - released ''More Life,'' a 22-track, 82 minute collection of new music that he called a ''playlist.''

It's unclear unclear what made it different from the Drake album or mixtape, but the 1975 could have gotten away with using that term to package the sprawling, moody ''Notes on a Conditional Form'' [as it happens, another 22-track, 80-odd minute affair].

''Notes'' moves not so much like a traditional album as a curated collection of peaks and valleys, of sonic rhymes and sudden contrasts, replete with unexpected cameos [Greta Thunberg, Phoebe Bridgers, FKA twigs] that look strange on paper but somehow make sense within its loose logic. It is, as the kids or students say, a vibe.

The 1975 is still walking that tightrope of self-indulgence, but more often than not it has learned how to retain its balance. And when your sensors are that receptive, they occasionally catch transmissions from the near future.

''I don't like going outside so bring me everything here.'' Healy drones on the eerily prescient ''People,'' while the album's irresistible hit single, ''If you're Too Shy [Let Me Know], chronicles the awkwardness and the glory of webcam intimacy.

At its best, ''Notes'' evokes some of the present moment's rarest commodities : an endless, raucous night out with friends, or even the earnest tenderness of a long, enveloping embrace.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on Great Album Reviews, continues. The World Students Society thanks author, Lindsay Zoladz.


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