Stay CALM Because 5SOS is Back
Today, March 27, 2020, 5 Seconds of Summer released their fourth, full-length studio album, CALM. I am so excited for you guys to listen to this album and I would love to hear your thoughts on this work on my social pages. Let's get really honest with this one.
Originally, I Was Not A Fan
A few summers ago, I saw 5 Seconds of Summer live with One Direction then again a few summers later on their first solo tour following Sounds Good Feels Good. I remember thinking their music tried really hard to mix emo, classic rock, and boyband pop. I'm all for having multiple influences in music but in this case, I thought it was thrown together in ways that didn't make sense. I truly don't even think they understood who they were or what they were really doing. Needless to say, I was not a fan of 5SOS at all.
Fast forward to when they visited 104.1 KRBE during the Youngblood era. This is when everything changed for 5SOS in my eyes. Their show at House of Blues Houston was sold out and the fans lined up around the building discussing how much they missed them after their two-year hiatus with mentions that "it was worth it."
They were right.
If you listen to Beats N' Buds you are probably aware of what I think makes a great boyband: In my opinion, the definition of a good band is the grouping of talented artists that have the ability to stand-alone in greatness but also have the ability to come together as a cohesive, confident, and powerful unit.
Their comeback album Youngblood was one of my favorite albums of 2018 and I revisit it regularly. It's sultry, daring, and gives you a sense of nostalgia or timelessness if you will. It mixes pop and rock like cookies and cream. It feels as though in their two-year break, this band may have time traveled to the 80s and they came back with a brand new sound that pours into their albums.
To be completely honest, the first-half of Youngblood is much stronger than the second-half but it is still an easy all-the-way-through listen. My personal favorite track off the album is Valentine. This song feels like a summertime with friends at the roller derby with low lights and shitty (but still delicious) pizza. 🍕
Some of my other favorites from this album include: Talk Fast, Moving Along, Youngblood, and Why Won't You Love Me. If you have listened to this album I would love to hear your overall thoughts and your favorite songs. 💭
Cool, CALM, and Collected
Now that I'm done drooling about Youngblood, let's talk about the real reason you're here. 5 Seconds of Summer released their fourth full-length album, CALM. CALM represents all four members of the band: Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin, Luke Hemmings, and Michael Clifford.
In the opening track, Red Desert, you are instantly put on a metaphorical train ride through a desert or as Max on Beats N' Buds calls it: a dusty town. It truly makes you feel like you are racing past the scene in Holes with the horse, the guy that says "I can fix that," and some tumbleweeds. 🌵
In the Old Me music video, 5SOS takes their audience on a literal train ride in... none other than... an actual red desert. Someone give these guys a round of applause!
In the Easier music video, we see those familiar reds again. Remember that sultry note I made? If you have the time, please check out these videos!
Let me lay it down real quick. The following statement is not up for debate. The best song on this entire album is hands-down Old Me. No ifs. No ands. No buts! I think this song is the perfect reflection of this band as a whole. 5SOS was finally able to simplify all their influences to create something that is so incredibly seamless it is absolutely unreal. Old Me has me making the nastiest "R&B" stank faces to the simple yet extremely powerful bass line throughout the track. I'm a sucker for a solid bass line. If you are too, you will love their singles Teeth and Easier.
Overall, I give CALM an 8/10. CALM is the perfect length for a full-length album. It is not too short or too long sitting at about 40 minutes. The tracks are laid out very well and I personally would not have out them in a different order than they currently are. With that, the overall storytelling of the album is a little off in my opinion. There are plenty songs about love here but they are a little all over the place. Was the relationship always great or was it always toxic? What about Wildflower in the middle there? Maybe I'm missing a backstory. Then again, I've been in relationships that are on and off again, much like this album.
Another point I would like to make is that this album is so much better at keeping the energy extremely high throughout the entire piece in comparison to Youngblood. It is such an easy listen and I highly recommend it. Although some of these tracks are dark, the musicality of it all makes you sort of forget you are singing at the top of your lungs about a manipulative relationship.
I am beyond excited to see what 5SOS does next and I hope they go on tour after all this global pandemic thing is over.
Have a great day y'all and STAY INSIDE!