1. Track List (109)

5 Seconds of summer leave rock behind for good on Youngblood, and deliver a pop album all the way.

taylor
Written by taylor
/ 4 mins read

When 5 Seconds of Summer ditches their guitar noise and drummer Ashton Irwin’s rocking rhythms, synth takes over on Youngblood, with some big hits, and quite a few throwaway tracks, which suffer from having no identity of their own. 16 tracks is kind of a tall order for a Pop album, which this surely is, and the derivative, sometimes repetitive offerings here bloat up a record, which should have repped Australia’s natural propensity for excellent Pop music, from the newer Empire of the Sun to the older stalwarts, INXS. Thankfully, the tracks that do work are quite memorable.

5 Seconds of Summer should have taken their good songs here and multiplied them.

“Want You Back” is so frickin’ good. It actually sounds like something a similar, in my opinion more intriguing pop rock band, The 1975, would have made. The biggest grin breaks out on my face as I am swept up in the adorable electronic build up of the hook on this song, and I can unabashedly jump and dance as it crests into it’s catchy synthetic hook. And this is supposed to be sort of a sad song – with lead singer Luke Hemmings heartbroken over the lingering ghost of his ex’s affection; “No matter where I go, I'm always gonna want you back.” Other stellar songs come in the form of motoring synth swinger “Youngblood”, the title track, with its balance of balladry and Marilyn Manson industrial groove metal. “Woke Up In Japan” is a sexy lazy groove that mixes more of the rock quality 5 Seconds used to employ, and serves as a minor standout, albeit with a great over-limiting vocal hook.

Too many bands and styles are mimicked on this Pop effort

“Valentine” is so Twenty One Pilots. This is not really a diss aimed at Twenty One, but it’s more a comment about an established band known for this style doing it in a better way (even if I don’t dig said band that much). The song “Moving Along” mixes bands Sublime and Magic!, and except for a really awesome series of drum fills, ceases to hold my attention. “If Walls Could Talk” sounds too much like Panic at the Disco!. “Empty Wallets” is another Twenty One rip, from the drum pattern to the overdubbed nonsensical chorus. “Monster Among Men” is a clap along cringe moment that, while it does switch up it’s tempo a few times, sounds like one of One Direction’s more vapid, pandering to pre-teen tracks. They don’t want to be monster’s among men? What does that even mean? The drama here is so manufactured.

Trim out all the fat and you might not have an album left unfortunately

Perhaps the pinnacle of ‘blah’ on Youngblood is the reggae fusion cop-out “Better Man.” This song is unforgivably generic. It is a dead fish of a track, ripping from the most formulaic aspects of a sub genre that was about as overplayed as the Latin Reggaeton influence is now. Tropical house vocally warped ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ pepper the backbeat of the hook for literally no reason except that it’s exactly what every other artist was doing. The main vocals follow a similarly uninspired pattern used by every pop artist and their mother. Choices like these make me think that the band is in crisis mode, jaded that they couldn’t create a viable lane for themselves post One Direction vacancy, so before producing the next album, they really need to have a pow wow, perhaps study up on some more varied musical subject matter, and either Rock out or Pop out in a much more original way befitting of their undeniable talents.

3. Official (18)

4. Audio (106)

5. Live (28)

6. Featuring Remixes (32)

7. Albums (26)

8. News (10)

9. Covers (71)

11. Similar Artists (10)

12. Artist Info

About

5 Seconds of Summer, often shortened to 5SOS, are an Australian pop rock band from Sydney, New South Wales, formed in 2011. The group consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Luke Hemmings, lead guitarist Michael Clifford, bassist Calum Hood, and drummer Ashton Irwin. They were originally YouTube celebrities, posting videos of themselves covering songs from various artists during 2011 and early 2012. They rose to international fame while touring with English-Irish band One Direction on their Take Me Home Tour. They have since released three studio albums and headlined three world tours.
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Active

    2011–present

Label

  • Capitol
  • Hi or Hey