So, I’ve been waiting for this. I’ve been waiting a long time for this. I’m unashamed to say, that 5 Seconds of Summer are one of my all time favourite bands, and I’ve missed them. Before I even decided to go down a more musical path, you bet your arse I was going to review whatever they released. A quick summary for you, before I go into detail?
Fuck Want You Back, I’ve wanted THEM back.
Last night a song was finally released by the name of Want You Back, and even from the tiny snippet I’d first heard, I was here for it. I wasn’t disappointed. From that tiny snippet on an Instagram post, I was there and I was ready and I started writing at 3AM because fuck sleep.
They’ve grown up a lot in the time they’ve been away, and you can really tell: things sound cleaner, more refined. Don’t get me wrong, both of their prior albums are near and dear to my heart, but from what we can tell, with each album you hear them growing. You hear their experiences, watch their growth as people, hear them finding themselves. You hear their progression as musicians, and they were thrown into the spotlight at a young age.
Why am I so excited for this album? One: I love them, they’re easily one of my most played bands. Two: I’ve been waiting a long, long time. Three: I wanna see what direction they’ve gone in. With music changing, bands change and evolve to, so they grow and learn and evolve with fans. They’ve done this well so far, so I was curious to if they’d stray completely into the mainstream (I prayed not) or if they’d put a twist on it. Luckily, they put a twist on the sound they were already building.
But, here’s the review to Want You Back, and not just me fangirling.
There’s something vulnerable about it. Yes, there’s the upbeat, catchy chorus that makes it ‘summer worthy’ (I’ve heard some people say that, and I get it, but it’s all year round worthy, sod off) but lyric wise, there’s such vulnerability and honesty there, such as “I remember the roses on your shirt when you said this would never work”, letting fans in, and sharing moments which go unspoken of and are private. The fact that they share these moments mean a lot to fans. This is done without the theme of calling people out which was an apparent trend in 2017 (thank you Taylor Swift and Katy Perry), adding a layer of maturity and class.
There’s a relatable element there too: there’s people who we know/think we’re always gonna want back in our lives: they know most fans who were there from the beginning are getting to the age of relationships and every one person will have a messy relationship or breakup in their life, it’s inevitable. They each said in statements that they wanted to grow with fans, and they are in the best ways. Fans who were fans from the beginning (hi there) are going to be 19/20 maybe (again, hi) and while they’re being honest in their music, they’ve also done it in the best way: while it grows with fans, it also broadens the people they reach, especially with the slight change in sound they have. My boyfriend has this on his Spotify playlist and he wasn’t a fan beforehand, that’s proof that it’s reaching different people and drawing others in.
They’re each incredibly talented young men, and you would be deaf and blind to be unable to see this. Each element meshes together perfectly showing skill and thought: the piano in the verses shows off the vocals and creates a contrast to the chorus completely, before going back to the soothing verses- I’m glad that the piano featured in Sounds Good Feels Good has been continued through to this album, as I think it was a twist not a lot of fans expected on their prior album.
Of course, Luke Hemmings voice is as stunning as usual, with more emotion coming through than I’ve personally heard on prior albums, drawing me in more. Although subtle, as a bassist I liked the bassline and how it drew everything together on choruses, showing the craft of Calum Hood, who deserves way more credit than he gets: as someone who plays bass, although some past basslines sound simple, it takes real skill to play and not get lost in what’s going on around you, and this bassline may be one of his best yet, and seeing as I already think he’s an immensely talented bassist, that says a lot. Ashton’s drums (if you’ve been here awhile, you will know I marvel at the skills drummers have, and Irwin is probably in my top 3 favourite drummers) help carry the beat on the chorus, stepping it up the second they kick in, again not overly showy, but making that change in the tone clearer. Mikey and Luke both shine with guitar, the riffs reminding me slightly of The 1975 in parts, as they’ve stated the band did inspire some of the album, but in others giving me the rock feel that I usually go for music wise. Together, they’re all incredibly talented musicians, and none of the work they do should go unnoticed.
One thing I’ve picked up on is a similarity between Want You Back and their last single Girls Talk Boys (highlight of that all women Ghost Busters shite if you ask me- I know, a feminist not liking part of a ‘feminist’ movement, shocking) is the fact that vocal range is being shown off more- and not just by Hemmings. There was less high notes heard on Sounds Good Feels Good or their self titled album- another thing that shows us that they as a band are developing and growing. God knows, I’d struggle hitting the notes.
Basically, I’m glad they’re back. Getting excited on Monday to find out it was being released Thursday was worth it (of course they’d announce an announcement, what more could you expect?). I’m now even more excited for the album, because if this is their first single, I’m itching to find out what more is to come.
One day I might write a bad music review, I did say I’d be more harsh from now on. Here though, the only thing I could be harsh about was the fact I’ve missed them and they had my hopes up with their announcing an announcement.
Stay safe and stay happy, Angels ❤️