If you follow me on social media (mainly Instagram) you’ll know that I’ve been excited for this, that the day before it came out and the day it came, I was hyped. Friends acted like my 2 posts was obsessive but here’s the thing: here’s a third.
I know that it’s not an in-depth review of each song, but if it was it’d be about 16,000 words minimum and none of you want to read an essay on my opinions of Youngblood. Could I do it? Yes. Would anyone read it? Highly doubtful, but if you want a 16,000 word essay about it, let a girl know.
If you’re a reader of this blog, you’ll know that I did a review on their first single ‘Want You Back’ which I’ll link here. I’ve been excited since then and had the album pre-ordered as soon as I could possibly do it. So, because I’m excited and I’ve given myself a few days to listen in full, here is my track by track review.
This is still one of my favourites on the album. The second single from the album, and it packs a punch; as with Want You Back and as we now know a lot of the album, it has sad lyrics with a upbeat, hard hitting beat.
Luke’s voice in this sounded like him but also far from like him and that hit me hard. He’s got a lot more control, but it sounds raw. The drums, the bass, the guitars. It just blends perfectly and is the perfect way to start the album off.
Lyrically? One of my favourites. “You’re pushing, you’re pushing, I’m pulling away” and the term ‘dead man‘ are phrases and terms I just fucking love. It perfectly describes problematic, but still passionate love, but they’re not making it romantic. You can hear the pain and frustration.
Want You Back
I’m not going to be doing a full on review of it because it’s been done here. But basically, it’s a fucking great song, but here’s the thing: it’s no longer a favourite on the album because the quality of the other songs. I wish I could go into detail like in this review with every song but alas, you’d get bored of my technical shit.
Lie to Me
This song makes me genuinely sad. It genuinely upsets me and it only had the impact when I properly sat down and listened to it. I think the wish that a lover would lie to you to make you feel loved and valued is heartbreaking. The sadness of a love moving on, looking happy, being with someone new after you thought you had something good. This song actually hurts me in a way I didn’t expect, and I think people overlook it way too much.
Also, while yes the others kill it, can we talk about how vulnerable Luke sounds? How emotional he sounds? I think that is what brings the pain harder, the fact that you know that it is a feeling everyone can feel. One of my favourites on the album.
Contraversial: not my favourite. I like the lyrics, and I like the meaning of the lyrics which were broken down in this drunken video, but it’s not my favourite and I can’t pin down why; Mikey sounds fucking great, Luke sounds good, but there’s some outshining going on, which I’ll cover in a sec.
But first, just a tiny sidenote: this reminded me a little of Twenty One Pilots in a way, with elements of The 1975. I like the song, it grew on me a lot, but it’s not a favourite.
The drum beat is ace, and the bassline is killer (every bassline on this album is, hats off the Calum Hood, you done good boy). The reason I mention the drums and bass in particular is because they make the song. They carry it for me and give it the sexy edge. Hats off the Ashton and Calum.
This honestly reminds me of the 80’s in a way in the beat and the composition, and while the bass and drums are ace yet again, the guitar riff steal it for me; there’s such timing and skill there. After trying to learn guitar but my fingers being too tiny (I may be a bassist but it’s a 3/4 bass because of said tiny hands), I’m amazed by guitar players just because I can’t get my head around it.
But, I digress: lyric wise, I like it, but there are better songs lyrically on the album. The song about a fast romance where you’re okay when it falls apart as long as you can take whatever this person is offering? No longer little angelic boys and I’m here for it.
ASHTON STOLE THE SHOW. The drums killed me on this and even left my boyfriend shook, people need to talk more about his talent because fuck me sideways he’s good. Melody and tune wise, this is one of my favourites, which has surprised a lot of people who I’ve spoken to about it- and honestly I get it.
There’s a lot going on admittedly, but I like that because it meshes well. I like the almost nursery rhyme element, and nobody is talking about how well it’s all put together or talking about the song enough in general. The prechorus sticks with me because the way it’s sang and the tune reminds me slightly of Bye Bye Bye by N*Sync (not a bad thing) in the last of the lines ‘ending it‘, ‘regretting it‘, ‘admit it‘.
I fucking love the lyrics. It’s bitter, and questioning, contrasting the innocent sounding melody. I think it’s just put together amazingly and deserves a little more credit.
If Walls Could Talk
This is a firm favourite. Mikey kills it. Luke kills it. Calum kills it. Ash kills it. This is just a song perfectly put together, and the lyrics are so brutally honest, but done in a way where they let you in, but they don’t let you know anything. You’re left asking questions, left knowing more but less, like why would you “Fall from grace“. When thinking about it, you get the meaning if you think of the lines “Not everything is primitive, but I’m giving it“. Some are believe it’s about wishing things that happened behind closed doors hadn’t been leaked to the public, and a fear of secrets coming out.
This sounded like a mysterious yet kind of sexy song, and Luke and Calum? Voices are giving it; they’re carrying that vibe which is what makes the song as good as it is. Give it to another vocalist, and I doubt it’d have the same tone or theme.
They’re saying what a lot of girls (and boys) wanna hear; their love makes someone a better man. How many girls (again, and boys) do you hear going after the ‘bad boy’ or the ‘bad bitch’ to try and change them and make them good?
This song seems a lot more calm, laid back than some of the others, but there’s still a little bit of a beat which I found myself dancing along to. In a way, it almost reminded me of ‘Shape of You‘ by Ed Sheeran. Unsure to why, but just parts of it led me to that, and because of that? Could be a massive success as a single.
Elements of Arctic Monkeys ring through to me. The guitar riff is what draws me in, Mikey and Luke nailed it. The feel of the song is powerful and almost pleading: “We used to have more” is sang as a loud, plead. The range that Luke has is also immense, and that shines in this song.
Again, a common theme with the album, you get a sad song with a pumped up, energetic beat, creating a contrast of the happy and the sad, and the lines blurring between the two- in this case, wishing that you used to have the love that you once had with a person, wishing that things were better.
Why Won’t You Love Me
This is one which I liked, but it didn’t stand out to me, other than the link my head made with ‘Airplanes’ from the last album with the begining melody before vocals come in, which you then hear “Switching into Airplane mode”. It talks about asking someone to ‘be good’ hinting that he’s afraid of the significant other being unfaithful.
The question of why he’s not being loved and “Why won’t love me” is heartbreaking. Each member’s vocals shine in this, and what got to me is the piano before the last chorus and the drums during the last chorus. It builds it up, and it was just a little thing I liked.
For me, I’ve got nothing against the song, it’s just not one I’ve connected with.
Woke Up in Japan
One which I like, but I can’t go into depth on. It just didn’t fit in my brain and I couldn’t work out why because it’s all there. The lyrics are great, instruments are played incredibly well as usual, but it didn’t mesh for me. Still a song I like, if you can’t tell I like the whole album, but it’s not one I’d put on. I’d not skip it, but I’d not go looking for it.
One of my most played and I like the metaphorical lyrics in it which are also able to be taken at face value, depending on how you interpret the song. Could be about how a heart is empty from giving love(“Stop digging in your heart because tonight is on me”), or, could be about how a wallet is empty from spending too much money on a person (“…dancing on empty wallets, spend it all on you”).
Either way, past me can relate.
I like the piano at the beginning, before it built up into the beat and the song itself which differed dramatically from the beginning of the song- a theme I’ve mentioned before. I like the punchy lyrics and the almost demanding way they’re phrased, despite the vulnerability from the “Getting higher when I’m high, to see you eye to eye“. It’s another song that I love, and it is one of my most played, but I can’t form an opinion or pick out an instrument or comment on the way each is played: it’s so well formed that it just sounds natural, so people who want to talk about each instrument like me? We’re fucked.
Ghost of You
100% my favourite on the album and easily one of my new favourite songs in general. The second I heard it, I welled up and started crying because I felt it. I’ve written with a similar message, I’ve got songs of a similar tone, so hearing the words I’ve been trying to put out there sang to me hit home.
I like that this is stripped back; there’s no overly fancy production, there’s no dramatic business, there’s no random opera (looking @ you Imagine Dragons). It’s raw, it’s honest, it’s open and it hurts me. That’s why I love it and I respect the song so much: if you can have such an impact, you’re doing it right.
“I drown it out, like I always do, dancing through our house with the ghost of you” hits me hard because it’s the image of someone either drowning their sorrows in the typical meaning of the phrase or drowning them out in your head to put up a facade that you’re okay when you’re far from it. Then the idea that they’re stuck in the past, with the memory of their former lover? This is a film level live story.
I loved the piano, I loved the subtle drums and bassline and I loved the guitar riff. I like how they blend and each stand out, but they also let the vocals shine and hit a chord with the listener.
You should see something on Instagram soon connecting to this song. No more hints, but soon you’ll see what I mean.
Monster Among Men
First of all, Mikey’s voice on this is perfect. Like with Jet Black Heart on the last album, he fits it perfectly and I know I say Luke’s voice has matured and he’s gotten more control, but the same goes for Mikey.
The guitar on this is also amazing. The skill it takes is impressive, but the way it both blends but is almost entirely different in parts is something I’d not expect. Drums are again done with flare and expertise and bass ties it all together.
This might have my one of my favourite choruses on the album. I like the almost suddenness of it. I like the build up, I like that it packs a punch. To the point where it’s been stuck in my head all day and I’ve been singing it (was great for sound testing and soundcheck: 5 Seconds of Summer helping with uni work💁).
Meet You There
There’s a funk to this, a bit of soul, but it’s an incredibly catchy song. It covers a lot of bases and touches different genres within one song and we know how I’m usually a one track mind kinda girl, but this works incredibly well. It takes some balls and some confidence to pull off a song like this, and they’ve done it.
I can’t actually put this song into words: it’s something which I can’t fully describe or go into. I just know, a firm favourite on the album of mine and I needed to stop the CD a sec to take it all in.
A good way to finish the album. It reminded me a lot of the Rock and Roll’s not Dead album by Fall Out Boy at the beginning, before it becomes more relaxed in the verses. But after the calm of the verses, there’s drama, there’s effects, there’s a bitter tone to it full of regret. I feel a sense of fury in it which draws me to it.
“We said we both loved higher than we knew we could go” is a line which I think will hit home with a lot of people. I know for certain that it knocked me back a second after hearing it because I understand, I’ve been there. The brutal honesty is something that I’m glad they’ve not skipped on while writing this album because you know them better but you don’t know too much.
“Burned too bright now the fire’s gone, watch it all fall down, Babylon” is also a truth a lot of people live- you put everything in and eventually it burns out and it falls apart. And the “stay one more night” is prolonging the love, not wanting to let go.
This composition wise is my favourite hands down. There’s so much, there’s so much feeling that it’s one of their best songs full stop. I can’t pick out one member who killed it or caught my attention because they all fucking nailed it. This, like with Ghost of You is one of my favourites on the album and one of my favourite songs.
Also Calum fucking Hood ladies and gentlemen. All I’m gonna say. Calum fucking Hood.
Basically, they fucking killed it. This was worth the 3 year wait. The effort, the love, the craftsman ship. After being a fan from the beginning, watching them grow as artists is incredible and inspiring as someone who does also play music. To grow up alongside your favourite band is an incredible thing and the raw emotion and maturity on the album stuns me.
There is something for every mood, every occasion, every feeling. They explored as artists and allowed themselves time to make something they were proud of, and it fucking paid off; I can say that this year, this will be my favourite album of 2018 hands down. Before you point out that they’re my favourite band so I’m bias, here’s my 2015 favourite album’s post and they were not number one.
I hope you enjoyed; I wish I could have gone into depth on it, but it’s long enough without me going all in, god help anyone who read it otherwise. Thank you for taking the time to read, I know it’s a lot to get through, I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Stay safe and stay happy, Angels ❤️