5SOS make a breakout with their fifth album

Photo+courtesy+of+Wikipedia+commons

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia commons

Meagan Elizabeth García, Arts & Culture Editor

Australian pop rock band, 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS), continues to develop a diverse discography with the Sept. 23 release of its fifth album “5SOS5.” Here is a breakdown of what listeners can expect from their latest work. 

COMPLETE MESS 

The song “COMPLETE MESS” is a strong opener for “5SOS5” as the instrumental follows a steady, mellow guitar pattern and builds into a heavy drumbeat. Lyrically it focuses on the brightness in a relationship and how some of the madness can be clarifying. The overall musicality and subtle religious allusions create a sound that is reminiscent of the ’70s or ’90s. 

Easy For You To Say 

In “Easy For You To Say” the vocals of Luke Hemmings are heavily masked by synth music and autotuned vocals. This is intentional since the song starts guarded and talks on memories turned sour as a result of a stolen childhood. Eventually, the band sheds the autotune for a clear toned desperate singing as they grow throughout the song. 

Bad Omens 

This is the first song in the album that has a more experimental sound in terms of vocals and strings. In an almost-ballad, the band solidifies certain spiritual themes that were presented earlier in “COMPLETE MESS.” However, there is a juxtaposition in the relationships being presented, the first acknowledges flaws within, while this puts an otherwise detached partner on a pedestal to help keep the love alive.  

Me Myself & I 

“Me Myself & I” is a more classic homage to the early 2000s pop rock, original 5SOS sound. There’s an influence of more experimental synth thanks to the notable production signature of fellow artist, Jon Bellion. The lyrics are also very clever in their self-awareness with lines like, “I feed myself. Me and my selfish appetite.” 

Take My Hand (Joshua Tree Version) 

This track is one of the more emotionally charged songs on the album as it focuses again on the self-reflection of a childhood lost to early fame. This is made clear with lyrics like, “shut my eyes right at 17,” and “open eyes right at 23,” that allude to their career timeline. They also make more dark religious connections with the lyrics, “sending in the cavalry, a few more souls on the bus now.” 

It is a powerful song about leading an inner child who was astray back to the path they originally wanted to be on. Adding to the emotional significance is that the song mimics old melodies used in past tracks. 

CAROUSEL 

Troye Sivan fans will especially appreciate this song as the backing synth and electro sounds are very reminiscent of his work, though it does get more musically natural as it progresses. The placement for this track would have benefited from being moved given that its narrative is like the previous one. It is another song that alludes to a life of fame that has a singular path drawn in a circle, hence the title. 

Older 

“Older” is a seemingly sweet love song that gets more secretly twisted with each surprise Tim Burton-esque line. This is highlighted by the fact that the star vocalists for this track are Hemmings and his partner, who was once part of musical duo Alex & Sierra, Sierra Deaton. It has a very simple piano melody that takes a slight R&B influence with the light drumbeat added after the first chorus. 

HAZE 

In terms of musicality, this track is not the strongest given how pop formulaic it is compared to the more experimental sounds presented within the past few songs. Lyrically the song is more interesting as it speaks of the strength they feel in the presence of their partners. There is also a resurgence of vocals from bassist Calum Hood and drummer Ashton Irwin that fans will appreciate given how heavy Hemmings’ vocals have been thus far. 

You Don’t Go To Parties 

The guitar and bass in this song are very ’80s-inspired, mixed with a more modern drum. This track once again highlights the vocals of Hood and Irwin. The lyrical story of looking for a lost soul in a party crowd knowing that the person is not there, makes for a song that sounds like something straight out of a classic rom-com. 

BLENDER 

“BLENDER” opens on an upbeat instrumental that features high energy drum and bass. Lyrically, the story told opposes the music as it talks about a relationship on the fritz. The song features a saxophone solo that matches the vocals of Hemmings in the bridge and really flips what would be a pop punk song on its head. 

Caramel 

This song carries cool toned vocals and instrumentals, which are almost reminiscent of The Neighbourhood. The harmonies of Hemmings and Irwin highlight the struggle presented in the lyrics, “love like a landslide, I kiss you goodnight.” This line resonates especially given the instrumental outro that features a guitar riff like that of Stevie Nicks’ song “Landslide.” 

Best Friends 

A more hopeful song in this lineup, “Best Friends” offers a classic rock americana sound. The vocals feature Hemmings and guitarist Michael Clifford with a slight country twist. The song speaks of a relationship they want to make work and the memories of a friendship they would like to keep safe. 

Bleach 

This is another musically experimental track within their album as it opens with ambient noise then cuts to keyboard. There is heavy autotune in the vocals, but it seems like an intentional attempt to separate themselves from the heavy lyrics. It is a tragically clever reference to bleaching hair when a relationship ends because it is the only thing they can control or wash out when things have gone bad. 

Red Line 

“Red Line” is consistent in its simple drumbeat and mellow guitar pattern. The vocals are mainly in falsetto and lyrically it focuses on a relationship full of miscommunication. Though it is simple, it carries a relatable message and ends with a beautiful piano outro. 

Moodswings 

This track is the closest we have gotten to a ballad on the album. The vocals are the highlight of this track as the beginning verses and chorus are sung in desperation, resting on the edge of screaming. The final chorus is sung in a softer more defeated tone when they realize that there is no coming back from the toxic love they have expressed throughout the song. 

Flatline 

This song opens strong and is very reminiscent of their Youngblood album. Hood sings the chorus in falsetto and plays up the lyrical theme of unabashed love. Listeners can anticipate heavily romantic lines like, “you’re like staring at the sunshine, burnin’ into my mind. Cause I can’t even look at you.”  

Emotions 

“Emotions” is a track that is musically like the earlier work of Blink 182. The song is sung entirely by Clifford. It presents a narrative that focuses on feeling lost in his emotions and seems like a callback to his previous song “Jet Black Heart.” The emotional weight of the song does not carry though, with the lack of intense instrumental and background vocals.  

Bloodhound 

Lyrically, “Bloodhound” is not the strongest. Certain phrases used in the song can make it easy to date. However, the instrumental is incredibly experimental, making the bridge the best part of the song. There is a certain sensuality that lends itself to the music but is generally lost to the lyrics.  

TEARS! 

For the closing track of the album, “TEARS!” has a strong production value. The lyrics juggle elements of anger and sadness that are equally reflected in the instrumental. Hood and Irwin’s vocals do wonderfully at carrying out this message. Irwin’s vocals especially present a clear influence from his solo album, “Superbloom.” 

Through a decade-long career, the group provides a musical timeline that allows listeners and fans to grow with them and follow in their journey as a band. “5SOS5” is available for listening on all music streaming platforms. 

Meagan Garcia is the arts & culture editor and may be reached at [email protected]