Recommended Tracks: Easier, Not In The Same Way, High
Artists You May Like: The Vamps, Hot Chelle Rae, Jonas Brothers
These past few weeks have been hectic, as the world has been rocked by the coronavirus; the stock market is down, unemployment keeps rising, and supplies in the outside world have been dwindling. We get more and more anxiety-inducing information by the hour, deeming any of our attempts to remain positive as insignificant. In times like these, it is so important not to panic – do not let the news fill you with fear. Instead, indulge yourself with relaxing activities, such as coloring or reading. If listening to music is more your style, you might want to check out 5 Seconds of Summer’s new album, CALM (if only for the title alone).
The band’s fourth studio album begins with the cinematic, “Red Desert.” As you listen to the track, you can see a dramatic movie play out in your mind. When Luke sings, “Tell me, would you pack up all your bags, stay true to North? / You’re the only one I’d do this for,” to when all the boys come in on the chorus, “Red, red desert, heal our blues…,” you can easily envision a classic Western Romance. The musical accompaniment enhances this narrative, with the driving drum beat representing horses galloping through the desert, taking their riders where they need to go.
Most of the tracks on this album play out as movies; 5 Seconds of Summer are gifted storytellers. For instance, when you listen to “Lover Of Mine,” you can picture Luke sitting outside and reminiscing about his lover, with the sun setting and the sky filling up with shades of orange and pink. The production on the track is just as intense, from the way it changes genres to the way the melodies trade off from the piano to the guitar. By the time you finish listening to it, you feel completely invested in the story.
There is plenty of growth on this album, which is something that you always want from an artist. After listening to tracks like “Teeth” or “Wildflower,” it is funny to imagine that these are the same guys who released some of our favorite pop punk bangers a few years ago. Not only are the lyrics more “grown-up” and emotional, but there is more experimentation when it comes to how a track sounds. Luke dabbles with falsetto in unassuming places, verses go from open and sweeping to hard and gritty, and the riffs and melodies are quirky and complex. The boys are not afraid to experiment and take chances, and it is paying off so well; it keeps things interesting, which is crucial for a band’s existence.
The album closes with “High,” a gentle break-up ballad. There is only an organ-like accompaniment to the track, making the feelings and emotions very exposed. Luke sings, “I hope you think of me highly / when you’re with someone else.” It is a weird and self-ish thing for an ex-boyfriend to be thinking, but it is better than him bashing the ex or wishing that the ex was dead.
Overall, CALM is another great album for 5 Seconds of Summer to add to their collection. The album feels representative as to who they are as people and as a band, which is probably where the album gets its name (CALM stands for Calum, Ashton, Luke, Michael). It is another stepping stone in the right direction, and we cannot see where this path will take the boys down the line.
You can stream CALM on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.
Catch 5 Seconds of Summer on tour here.