It seems to be the season of new music. With big names like Taylor Swift, The 1975 and more releasing albums, music lovers have a lot to look forward to this fall. However, there is one recently released album that has gained my specific attention and excitement: 5 Seconds of Summer’s fifth studio album, “5SOS5.”
It has been just over two years since the Australian pop rock band, composed of Luke Hemmings, Calum Hood, Michael Clifford and Ashton Irwin, released new music. If you are like me, you have been following this band since their early days with One Direction, and have been waiting all summer for the release of this album.
The band has been teasing the album all summer, releasing singles like “Complete Mess,” “Take My Hand” and “Blender” as well as playing some unreleased songs on their 2022 Take My Hand Tour.
Released just last week, on Sept. 23, “5SOS5” stuns fans with its dynamic sound, explosive instrumentals and upbeat tempos. In a message to fans on Instagram, the band explains this album as “a journey of friendship, brotherhood and exploration of self-identity.” They continue “we entered this era focused on creative freedom and a liberation of the band’s truest voice to date.”
Themes of growing up, maturing, friendship, honest emotions and self-reflection are most present in this album. In a note to fans, written via their enhanced Spotify album (with commentary on every song), the band claims, “Many songs on the album reflect on metamorphosis, moving forward by getting through the obstacles that have been stuck in your way for a long time.”
This idea of moving forward and overcoming ever-present obstacles is showcased in many songs, including one of my favorites from the album: “Caramel.” A song of lost love, the lyrics describe the obstacle of a changing dynamic in a relationship. The band sings, “It used to be easy//Now you can’t even look me in the eye//A visceral feeling that I can never leave behind.” It is not just the lyrics, but also the melody of this song that captivated me. From the first listen, I have become addicted, constantly playing this song on repeat.
Another one of my favorite songs off the album has to be “Bad Omens”. In a message from their enhanced album on Spotify, the band claims this song to be one of their favorites as well and writes “I love how big this gets with the strings at the rising chord in the chorus is really cool, it’s a beautiful song.” Again, there is something addicting in the melodies of this song. From the beautiful vocals to the complex harmonies to the incredible build-up at the end, there is nothing not to like about this song. There is an enchanting and surreal feel to this song, as though when listening, you are inside the music itself, completely surrounded by its sounds.
Songs such as “Easy For You To Say” and “Red Line” pays homage to the early lives of the band members. With a “coming-of-age” feel, these songs focus on growing up and the nostalgia that is often felt when thinking about memories from the past. Following the cohesive nature of this album, these songs feature upbeat instrumentals yet maintain a sentimental and emotional tone.
One song that does not feel as emotional, and instead feels like pure joy, is “Bestfriends.” One of the most upbeat and happiest-sounding songs on the album, this song is exactly what it sounds like. In a message on Spotify, the band describes it as a “… story of what friendship can be like to other people, but also what friendship is like to us personally.” The song conveys a message of the love and appreciation one feels toward their best friends. It is a song that makes me want to roll all my windows down and scream the lyrics at the top of my lungs with my own best friends.
While many of the songs on this album feature upbeat tempos, angelic harmonies and intense instrumentals, there are a few songs that take a slower, more sentimental tone. “Older,” featuring Sierra Deaton, is probably the most unique track on this album as it strays from the cohesive nature of the “5SOS5”. The sweet lyrics describe growing old beside the person you love and the longing for time to slow down. The lyric, “As forever comes closer//Hope the world will spin slower,” is one that I could certainly relate to. I often wish for time to slow down in the moments I spend with loved ones.
“Bleach” is another song on this album that differs in sound. Abandoning the complex harmonies and guitar riffs, this song takes a sadder tone. The lyrics expose a longing to start over, to learn to live outside of a relationship that was once a part of who you were. Cleverly incorporating the title of the song, the band sings of using bleach to wash away the memories of the lost love in order to start new. It is the heartwrenching lyric, “It’s so hard to watch everything I want//(Everything I was, spinning down the drain)” that gets me every time. If you are looking for a song to cry to, a song that will prompt you to reflect upon who you are, this is the song from “5SOS5” for you.
There are many more songs on this album (19 songs in total!) that I did not mention, but highly recommend giving a listen. “5SOS5” has only been out for a week, and I have already listened to each song on the album at least 100 times! It has been a long time since the band released new music and I, as well as many other 5SOS fans, I am sure, are beyond excited. With its cohesive nature, upbeat and optimistic feel and honest lyrics, I agree that it exemplifies the band’s “truest voice to date”
If you ever see me walking around campus with headphones in, it is safe to assume that I am listening to “5SOS5!”