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Album Review

5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood

5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood

By: Nate Doro

5 Seconds of Summer has recently released their third album. After the success of their first two, it took them three years to release their new album since their previous one. With the increase in time between albums, the hype that usually comes with an album was also increased. This was clearly shown when the album, Youngblood, debuted on at the top of the Billboard 200 chart.

While sales clearly factor into the success of an album, it is really the lasting impression that the album leaves with its audience that matters. Interestingly enough, the first time I listened to the album, I was taken aback. I was not really sure how to feel. 5 Seconds of Summer really changed their sound in Youngblood. I had always been a fan of their pop punk sound, but this new sound initially left a bad taste in my mouth. The band transitioned to a more modern EDM-pop sound.

After a second listen, I realized how I misread the album at first. Yes, their sound has changed, but not necessarily for the worse. Their EDM-pop sound is introduced lightly into the album, which still has notes of pop-punk. They even included a track, titled “Talk Fast,” with a fun 80s sound to it.  This track was definitely a highlight of the album. It stuck out from the rest of the tracks but also showed that change can be good. Another high point of the album was the final song, “Babylon.” This track is the perfect example of how to transition a band’s sound. The pop-punk sound complimented by notes of EDM-pop was a great way to end a great album. It also lets fans know that just because 5 Seconds of Summer wants to work with new styles of music, they will never completely abandon their roots. However, the strongest track on the album is probably “Lie to Me.” It is a very slow EDM-pop song, but the chorus is exactly what I would expect to hear while gazing at stars. “Lie to Me” is a true show stealer.

The three singles on the album were not necessarily their strongest songs but still left a lasting impression. The titular track, “Youngblood,” really goes gung-ho for the new EDM-pop sound. As this album debuted their new sound, it’s not surprising that they chose this as their titular track. “Want You Back” also uses the new sound but is probably the weakest of the three singles. It is comparable to almost every pop one-hit-wonder of the past decade. “Valentine” is perhaps the strongest of the three singles. It has an intoxicating dark sound that leaves listeners asking for more. I definitely want more of this sound in future albums.

As a whole, Youngblood has a lot of promise. I am excited to hear more experimentation with sound in my future as I have no doubt the band will continue to cross genres. Overall, this album is an 8/10.  While the high points of the album were very high, they lose a couple of points with me for creating a song as weak as “Want You Back.”  However, tracks like “Babylon” and “Lie to Me” are the types of songs that people will be listening to for years to come.

James Kallianis

October 2nd, 2018

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