The boys of 5 Seconds of Summer have come a long way since their YouTube days.
The four lads from Australia began uploading covers to their YouTube account in 2011. As fate would have it, it would be those very same covers that would catch the ear of One Direction’s Niall Horan. Along with fellow band mate Louis Tomlinson, their tweets about 5SOS’s music would give the quartet the push they needed to make a splash on the music scene.
Since then, Luke Hemmings (18), Michael Clifford (19), Calum Hood (18) and Ashton Irwin (20) have gone to sell out their very first headlining North American tour, make their first North American televised debut at this year’s Billboard Music Awards (with a bungled introduction from model-of-the-moment Kendall Jenner no less), toured with One Direction twice (during last year’s Take Me Home tour and this year’s Where We Are stadium tour), and won over a massive fan following (whom they affectionately call their 5SOS fam) in the process.
Now ready to officially take on the music biz, 5 Seconds of Summer have just released their self-titled debut studio album (which finally comes out in North America today) and it will no doubt be just what fans have been waiting to hear. 5 Seconds of Summer is full of high-tempo pop punk tunes, perfect for summer drives, and a few heart felt ballads. It’s just enough to help take 5 Seconds of Summer from “that band that opened for One Direction” to a bonafide rock band.
Without further ado, here is our track by track review of 5 Second’s Of Summer’s first studio album.
1. She Looks So Perfect
5 Seconds of Summer open the album with their first single, a perfect introduction to the pop-punk sound they are known for. In a nutshell, “She Looks So Perfect” can be described as a letter to young love as it’s full of mentions of mix tapes, tattoo hearts and getting down to your skivvies. The track pairs equally infectious hooks and lyrics as the boys declare their love with lyrics like, “I found myself just thinking about showing up with a plane ticket and a shiny diamond ring with your name on it.”
2. Don’t Stop
Keeping things up-beat, “Don’t Stop” has the boys singing about a girl who has tickled their fancy and are determined to know more about her and eventually taker her home. The track is the band’s second single and its fast tempo makes it fun to not only sing along to (which is the case for the majority of the album) but also to dance to.
I do find the lyric “ask for your number, said you don’t have a phone” hard to believe as being unable to get a girl’s number is the least of the band’s worries these days.
3. Good Girls
When “Good Girls” first kicks in, I can’t help but think the song sounds like a throwback to a 90’s pop hit that would be featured in a romantic comedy which, in my book, is not a bad thing. It’s young, fun and has just the right amount of cheekiness. Just listening to the track as I write this has me envisioning the song’s “good girls are bad girls that haven’t been caught” lyric splattered on t-shirts.
4. Kiss Me Kiss Me
Initially, when I first listened to “Kiss Me Kiss Me” I wasn’t too keen on the track. I felt the song was lacking and a bit boring at times, even when it reached its chorus. But, I have to admit that by the third listen, I found myself tapping along and really enjoying it. Its shining moment comes especially when the bridge kicks in and offers one killer guitar/drum solo.
Just by reading the title you would think “18” was about reaching (somewhat) adulthood and getting to do all those fun things you eagerly wait to do (legally), right? Well you’d be both right and wrong as they actually sing about falling for an older woman and counting down the days until they can finally be with her. They buy fake IDs and throw out one pretty random Charlie Sheen reference, but this is the stuff romance is made of, people!
6. Everything I Didn’t Say
Finally slowing things down, “Everything I Didn’t Say” is exactly what you’d expect it to be: a post break-up apology about all the feelings that weren’t expressed during the realization and then realizing that lack of honest afterwards. It’s a sweet track that has the guys pouring their hearts out through a more percussion-filled backdrop of sounds.
7. Beside You
Really getting into the ballads at this point, “Beside You” is sure to have fans swooning even more with the song’s heartfelt and romantic lyrics. It will also most likely have them reciprocating the song’s sentiment and wishing the boys were beside them singing the words to them.
8. End Up Here
Just as we’re getting used to the softer side of 5SOS, they rev things right back up with “End Up Here.” The tune is centered around insecurities and not feeling good enough, which is blatantly expressed in the lyric, “I’m a 6, she’s a 10.” It did take some time for me to really get into this one, but again, it’s when the clap-filled breakdown comes on that I found myself wanting to rock out. So much so, that I wanted it to last a bit longer.
I even give them bonus points for the Bon Jovi “Living on a Prayer” reference.
9. Long Way Home
Co-written with All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth and like “Good Girls,” “Long Way Home” gives off a 90’s feel the minute the chorus kicks in (again, not a bad thing). There’s no doubt that the guy’s allow their musical influences shine throughout the album and this song is no different. Especially since they give a shout out to Green Day in this one.
The track also starts off with simple piano chords, that kind of had me half expecting to hear Alicia Keys belt out “In New Yorrrk…”
10. Heartbreak Girl
“Heartbreak Girl” was one of the band’s first original tracks. In fact, it became an instant favourite after they uploaded it to their SoundCloud account. Fans will no doubt be glad to see that it found a spot on the album.
11. Mrs All American
Fists will be pumped when listening to “Mrs All American.” The song has these four Australian’s declaring their love for American girls, all the way down to the accent. Definitely one of the more fun songs off the album, it’s jam packed with a lot of high energy and power behind it that is almost anthemic. The only thing missing from this track is any mention of Canadian girls, but whatever.
Written by Good Charlotte’s Joel and Benji Madden, the heartfelt ballad “Amnesia” is the perfect way to finish off the album. The song about heartbreak and lost love shows off the band’s acoustic capabilities. It’s a bit more melancholic than what we’ve heard already (makes sense as it’s written by the Madden brothers), but in this case different is very good. It shows depth and allows for the band’s raw talent to shine. Is the lyric, “I wish that I could wake up with amnesia and forget about the stupid little things,” a bit much and dramatic? Yes, but we still kind of love it.
While I would’ve enjoyed to hear a few more ballads, 5 Seconds of Summer is a solid rock album, that perfectly showcases the fact that this is a young band is clearly having fun with their music — as they should be. Even with a couple weak links that took some time to get excited about, they won me back everytime. Overall, I give it 4 Vegemites out of 5.