It’s nearly 12 a.m., and the new 5 Seconds of Summer album Youngblood is finally out. It’s dropped already on the East Coast, so us lucky listeners all across the USA have the complete collection of songs before the day officially turns to June 15. I’m situated with headphones, my Spotify qued up and am prepared to dive in and write a song-by-song first impressions album review.
First, let me start by sharing how ready I am for this album. I’ve waited years. Their last album released late 2015, and after, the band took a two-year break to recraft their sound. Based on their latest releases leading up to the album, I’m really glad they took time off. The new sound is more mature, sound and well-produced. The band still has an edge, but the lyrics and tones are tighter.
I’ve heard a few of these songs from Youngblood already when I saw 5SOS on their spring 5SOS3 tour that promoted their new music. Some songs I already love include “Moving Along,” “Lie To Me” and “Talk Fast.” Let’s get into all the details. I’ll be typing as I listen and sharing my initial reactions.
A good song choice for the title of the album. “Youngblood” introduces the band’s new sound strongly and sets up high expectations for the rest of the album. The vocals from each band member, especially vocalist/guitarist Luke Hemmings, are no doubt the band’s best yet. This first track details how much the new direction and chapter of their music is ignited with passion and purpose. I love its energy.
Want You Back
Catchy and radio-worthy. “Want You Back” is the perfect first single for the band’s return to the music scene. I love the dynamics of the vocals, instruments and lyrics. The song is repetitive, but in a good way, and one that will stay with you all day.
Lie To Me
Hands down one of my favorites off the new album. I love the setup of the song–the slow beginning that builds as the chorus appears and progresses. Hemmings shines in this song and the lyrics are nonchalantly beautiful. I’m also a sucker for the New York City mention. Plus, this song is even better live. When Hemmings croons, hearts soar.
My first thought was, what were they thinking??? As my younger sister said: Were they all drunk when they wrote this? It’s groovy. But so different. I do love the vocals, and the lyrics make me laugh. If anyone sang this to me on Valentine’s Day I have no idea how I’d respond, but no doubt this will be stuck in my head. Its simple melody will follow me for days. “Have your cake, and eat it too.” Just give it a listen.
Every fibre in my being tried not to skip “Valentine” and go right into “Talk Fast.” This is another good one live. I love the instrumentals on it. The beginning and the quick build-up of the song is awesome. I also love hearing all the guys from the band sing. Vocalist/bassist Calum Hood has some solid moments on mic. It gives me flashbacks to some of their old songs, but nonetheless, the vibe of the entire song is fresh and entirely unique.
Might just be my favorite out of the 16 new songs. The beginning gets me–I love Hemmings vocals, the guitar pacing and then the drum kick in transition and Hood’s vocal entrance. The instrument patterns in the song are so good. I really dig the drum transitions and the heavy bass. I also adore the “thinking bout you lots, baby” lines and how good they are live in concert.
If Walls Could Talk
Hellooo Ashton Irwin (vocalist/drummer). Your voice is so underappreciated. Thank you for blessing us with so much of your vocal wonder on this track. I probably will take awhile to recover after being blessed so immensely. Fangirl notions aside, this is another strong song by 5SOS. Lyrics, melodies and instrumentals are well crafted and nothing short of a masterpiece. @ 5SOS, please play this live when touring this fall.
I’m halfway through the album by now and the only thing I can think of is how the band should be really proud of this album. I know they are. “Better Man” is another greatly penned song. Every track has a similar sound that unites the entire album, but they also stand apart with their unique quirks and are good enough to be singles. “Better Man” is a welcomed surprise of pop-gold.
Goodbye pop-gold impressions–“More” didn’t come to play lightly. Loving the heavy guitar and rock-infused introduction. I’m now moving into completely new song territory as I didn’t hear any of these at their show and they haven’t teased any of these online. This album gets better as it progresses on, and it’s overwhelmingly excellent. “More” reminds me of their rock/punk roots. This album won’t fit into one genre, box or category.
Why Won’t You Love Me
Wasn’t expecting the simple stunning vocals of this track. From Hemmings intro to the chorus, to very apparent vocal appearances by vocalist/guitarist Michael Clifford, to the mixture of all of their voices singing together — it’s a beautiful plea of the song’s title.
Woke Up In Japan
Side-note, why is everyone writing songs about Japan? (I’m looking at you, Shawn Mendes). What’s going down over there? Back to the song, this screams Calum Hood, and I’m digging it.
Probably my least favorite so far. Reminds me of their previous album Sounds Good Feels Good. Not terrible, but the lyrics just fall a bit flat.
Ghost Of You
A quick bounce back to shock and amazement. “Ghost Of You” starts with another Hemmings vocal perfection and beautiful guitar chords. The sound is pretty and reminds me of the emotion behind their fan favorite and chart hit “Amnesia.” I’m counting down the days until their tour this fall and hopefully getting to hear/cry my heart out to this song live.
Monster Among Men
Well Michael Clifford, I’ve missed you. The intros on all of these songs are so important, and so well done. The chorus on this is also bomb. By the end of the song, I was full on clapping and singing along. Really enjoyed this one.
Meet You There
The name of the fall tour. See you in August, boys. I’ll “Meet You There.” (That’s all I could think of/picture during this song… this album is going to jam hard live).
Heard some of my favorite old 5SOS influences in this song, and I loved it. It reminded me of some of the bonus songs they’d include on previous albums. Also really appreciated that it was a lot of Hood singing. After hearing the entire album featuring lots of Hemming (absolutely no complaints), this was a welcome ending.
5SOS’ new album, Youngblood, kept me guessing the whole way through. I kept wondering what would happen next — and it only got better as it progressed. The new sound is so different compared to their previous music, but it’s an exciting change. I’m thrilled about this new era and to see where it leads them.
I’ve been a fan of 5SOS since I was 15 and to see them develop their sound for this next chapter like they have is incredible. I love and appreciate the consistency of the album–the collection of songs flows together really well. What’s impressive, though, is that each also holds its own weight and has the potential to be singles/stand-alones. It’s evident this album was really thought out.
Here’s to a summer full of this album. It’s such a creative work that was worth the wait.
Youngblood is out everywhere you find music! Check it out and let me know what you think. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on social media! Let’s connect — @fearlesseyes97. I’d love to hear from you!