Album Review: “5SOS5”


Credit: Owen Smith

Join broadcast editor, Deirdre Brown in a review of 5 Seconds of Summer’s newest album, “5SOS5.”

Deirdre Brown

After 910 long days, 5 Seconds of Summer fans had their wishes fulfilled with the band’s 5th studio album: “5SOS5.” “5SOS” has become a nickname for the band, so with their 5th album, the album name was created. This album includes 19 tracks on their deluxe album.

Before the release of “5SOS5,” 5SOS lead singer, Luke Hemmings, shocked the fandom in May of 2021 with the announcement of his solo debut album: “When Facing The Things We Turn Away From.” Fellow band member and drummer Ashton Irwin also released his own debut album, “Superbloom,” back in October, 2020. Although Hemmings’ album received a lot more attention than Irwin’s, “Superbloom” was quite successful.

With two of the four band members releasing solo albums, things certainly looked skeptical for the future of the band. However, do not worry, because Hemmings and Irwin made it clear that their albums were only an expression of their own voice and that they had no intention of leaving the band.

As a longstanding 5SOS fan, “5SOS5” was something completely different than I expected. What originally drew me to the band was their loud guitar and bass lines that made their songs so rich. This album went in a completely different direction sonically. It surprised me with a mellow tone, far from the upbeat pop songs they used to create.

Before listening to “5SOS5” for the first time, I was most excited to listen to “Flatline” and “HAZE,” based solely on the titles. And after hearing them, they did not disappoint.

Specifically, the song “HAZE” almost makes me feel like I’m floating through the song. The flow of the tune brings you along a journey of happiness while listening. This song is about how it feels to love someone. The overall sound is supposed to emulate the feeling of love as you listen. This is one of my personal favorites. It’s very singable, yet totally different from what 5 Seconds of Summer fans are used to listening to.

One thing that I am overwhelmed by on this album is how every band member has very audible individual parts, in contrast to their other albums where Hemmings mainly took the lead on vocals. In the song “TEARS!” the band’s drummer, Irwin, takes the lead vocals. He has never taken the lead on vocals on any previous album.

Furthermore, Hemmings recently announced his engagement to singer-songwriter Sierra Deaton back in January, 2021. Deaton is credited for writing “Carousel” as well as being featured in “Older.” Other than Deaton, the album was written by all four band members: Hemmings, Irwin, Calum Hood and Michael Clifford. The album was also produced entirely by Clifford.

The band started their “5SOS5” journey by taking a retreat to Joshua Tree National Park in California. The goal of the retreat was to find a new sound and grow as artists for their new album. During the retreat, the band successfully completed their first hit single of the album, “COMPLETE MESS.”

Before its release, many fans were excited about the overall sound of this album. After the single “COMPLETE MESS,” fans were intrigued by the new sound of the band. And after listening to this single for the first time, I had no idea where the album would head vocally. But following the whole album, it’s clear that “COMPLETE MESS,” along with others, is a creation of all the band members combined.

The overall feel of the album is upbeat while still taking on heavy topics. The sound is supposed to make us feel as though we are floating through. Sounds from their first albums are very evident as the band twists their old sounds together.

Recently, the pop industry has become very harsh, in a way that some 5SOS songs, such as “Teeth” and “Easier” from their previous album, “Calm,” had caused the band to strip back the song’s true sound. So, if they didn’t do so on their newest album, the songs will get categorized as rock music and thus not get played on the radio. A great example of this would be in the 2019 hit single “Easier.” I encourage you to listen to “Easier Live From The Vault” versus “Easier” to hear the band’s true version of the song, compared to their record label’s version. The live version is dark and grungy. The bass is very dry and dirty, and the drums are loud. This song is stripped back from the heavy production from their producers, allowing us to hear the true intentions the band had for the song.

At the end of the day, the album was not what I was expecting, but I’m overjoyed by the result. It creates a whole new sound for the band and listeners. It’s nice to see the band not “strip-back” any of their songs, and truly create an album for themselves, rather than for their management company. Overall, this album is not my favorite 5 Seconds of Summer album ever, but it was great nonetheless. I would give the album an 8/10, with my favorite songs being “HAZE,” “Flatline,” “CAROUSEL” and “BLENDER.”