Australia’s favourite pop-rock band, 5SOS, are back with their latest collection of songs; album number four, ‘CALM’.
The title gives away the general feel of this album – personal and a bit more subdued.
Where previous album (2018’s ‘Youngblood’) was a pulsing collection of tunes, ‘CALM’ takes a melodic approach, but is no less engaging or listenable. It’s also probably one of their most personal albums yet.
5 Seconds Of Summer continue to co-write all their music and they’ve drafted in some interesting collaborators on this occasion.
Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic fame (and songwriter to artists like Beyoncé, Leona Lewis and Kelly Clarkson) features on a couple of songs, Alexandra Tamposi (Little Mix, Camila Cabello) and Stephen Morris (Joy Division) contribute as well. And it’s a really enjoyable listen throughout.
Everything we’ve grown to like about the boys of 5SOS continues to mature like a fine wine. The maturity and polish keeps improving through the arrangements, lyrics and vocals with each album and this is one of their best so far.
The name of the album comes from the boys’ initials combined (that’d be Calum, Ashton, Luke, Michael for the slow ones) and for me it’s a great reminder how honest the lyrics are about everything from love to fame. You get a real sense for how these boys have grown up.
I’ll call out the singles first – they have all been very decent releases, but ‘Easier’ stood out as the most radio friendly and catchy of the pre-release singles. It felt fresh and funky and showcased the band’s skill in songwriting and production. The single that came out at the same time as the album, ‘Wildflower’, is the most pop-centric these boys sound on the album. It’s also the song I’ve played the most on repeat. It’s an addictively good song.
The album tracks are nothing to sniff at either. The standout for me is ‘Lonely Heart’, which focuses a lot more on the story and vocals over some of the other songs. I’m a sucker for good harmonies and this songs showcases these boys’ abilities.
Album opener ‘Red Desert’ is a great way to start the album too, for its driving beat and the way it sets the tone for what’s to come.
I love hearing great Australian music that is amongst the best on offer across the globe.
Fans from across the world have taken notice too, with 5SOS experiencing success the world over.
It’s a testament to their talents and drive but also to the amazing music they continue to create.
Well done boys.
VERDICT : 4/5.
MUST LISTEN : Wildflower, Easier, Lonely Heart.