Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

5 Seconds Of Summer demonstrate a matured self-awareness on 5SOS5

Release date: 23 September 2022
5 Seconds of Summer 5 SOS5 Album Artwork
23 September 2022, 09:00 Written by Caitlin Chatterton

The Australian four-piece may be on album number five, but it’s the first one they’ve produced independently. Testament to their skill, the result is an immersive and cohesive project, showing that these boys know exactly what they’re doing.

It has, somehow, been a full ten years since 5 Seconds Of Summer put out their debut EP. Somewhere New, the charming four-track record, was followed up by their heady pop-punk-inspired full-length, a resident slot supporting One Direction, and a meteoric rise to cult status not seen since, well, One Direction. A decade down the line, the boys are almost unrecognisable. Just as the sweeping fringes and boxes of hair dye have given way to curly mops, the bright-eyed simplicity of that first project has developed into the far more complex, considered, and complete soundscape the band are now known for.

Growing up doesn’t have to mean forgetting, though. In fact, memory lane seems to be one of 5SOS’ favourite places. Continuing the theme of their previous tracks “2011” and “Old Me,” the bright and breezy “Best Friends” indulges in nostalgia, while the soaring choruses on “COMPLETE MESS” bring to mind the iconic Luke Hemmings t-shirt that’s now a relic to long-term fans. Sonically, too, there are nods to the past: “Mood Swings” isn’t too far flung from their Sounds Good Feels Good days; on “Emotions,” guitarist Michael Clifford takes the reigns for an ode to everyone’s emo phase, complete with a cursive twang Tom DeLonge could be proud of. It’s chased down by penultimate track “Bloodhound” - a groovy, Youngblood style banger with a bridge that recalls something of Fall Out Boy’s Save Rock And Roll album.

While such sentimental bookmarks are sweet, where the record truly shines is where it treads newer ground. Electronic details built into the layers of “Bad Omens” and “Bleach,” for instance, add a surprising depth to the 5SOS' sonic universe, while the swaying jazz undertones of “Older” mark it out as the album’s showstopper. A tender duet between fiancées, you can practically picture Hemmings and Sierra Deaton at the piano together as they riff on vintage love songs, conjuring a La La Land-esque scenario that’s “tailor-made” for all your music video daydreams. It’s a contrast to the feel-good energy of dance track “HAZE,” and to the restless, cathartic confessional “CAROUSEL.” Although the boys have finally found their niche within atmospheric pop, there is clearly still room for them to play with, and the influences they draw on suggest their sound is set to expand even further.

In short, 5SOS’ fifth album is technically their best (though when it comes to superlatives, sheer nostalgia may forever win out in favour of their self-titled release). Sure, the nineteen-track running time could afford to cut a few songs, and the closing “TEARS!” might stop short of a truly satisfying end, but neither of these things sufficiently detract from what is, otherwise, a carefully crafted album that reaps all the benefits of those ten years’ experience.

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