A new and exciting sonic that beautifully captures the melancholy emotions and personal journey the band have taken over the past few years.
An album that’s been three years in the making holds high expectations in the eyes of 5 Seconds of Summer fans everywhere. Fortunately, Youngblood delivers: not only does the highly anticipated album satisfy the fans that stuck by the band, but it also brings a new audience, as it refuses to stick to just one genre. Everyone has always tried to pigeon-hole the band with the pop rock and pop punk debates, as well as the boy band vs rock band arguments. However, with their latest effort, it is clear that 5SOS are not genre defined: they are just out to create the music they want.
This review could not go without mentioning the title track ‘Youngblood’. The up-tempo melody and the strong bassline with everything coming together for the chorus is undeniably one of the most successful songs on the album. Its position at number 1 on the Australian charts for four weeks running proves this alone, with it being the first Australian artist to hit the top spot there in two years.
The band have taken inspiration from a variety of eras and other artists. The 80s vibe of ‘Talk Fast’ creates a completely different sound from anything the band have ever done before but fits the album so well. Influences from Twenty One Pilots can be heard on ‘Valentine’ and ‘Empty Wallets’ with slight Panic! at the Disco and Fall Out Boy sounds being heard too, creating diversity across the album.
For me, the stand out songs are ‘Monsters Among Men’, ‘Moving Along’, ‘Lie to Me’, ‘Ghost of You’ and ‘Babylon’. On all of the songs, you can hear the development in their voices but Calum’s vocals on ‘Babylon’ are a stand out feature that perfectly brings the album to a close. ‘Monsters Among Men’ is my favourite track due to the up-tempo beat and the melody with the combination of all the instruments but a very subtle piano in the background which lightens the melancholy song, almost altering the vibe. This is one of the few songs that has some similarity to their previous sounds.
‘Ghost of You’ I would describe as the ‘Broken Home’ of ‘Youngblood’, the emotional song that hits you whether you relate to the situation or not. The slowest song tells the extremely honest story of the aftermath of a serious relationship. The song, written alongside Mitchy Collins of Lovelytheband, is a beautifully crafted three minutes that gives you goose bumps and pulls on your heartstrings as it leaves you feeling as though you’re about to cry.
As a fan of the band and seeing their journey since before their first hit single, this album is definitely a change but is a refreshing one and is, as biased as I am, an amazing album which showcases the talent Luke, Calum, Ashton and Michael have as songwriters as well as performers. But more than that, it truly showcases their growth as individuals into the men that they have become rather – than the boys that the world previously saw.
I do not believe for one second that the past year off has been an easy or relaxing experience for the band, but it has been incredibly hard working. They spent time crafting an album they are proud of, resulting in a record that beautifully captures the personal struggles and transformation they have each experienced as people. The end product? An album filled with extremely honest, emotional and incredible songwriting which deserves great success and recognition.
Youngblood is available now via Capitol Records.