I’m about to be really blunt with all of you: 5 Seconds of Summer’s sophomore album, Sounds Good Feels Good, is nothing short of a musical masterpiece. 2015 has been a pretty great year in terms of music (Adele and Bieber’s comebacks, anyone?), but this album was just what this year was missing.
SGFG is 5 Seconds of Summer settling into their musical identities; gone are the days where they’re just “that boyband that opened for One Direction.”
They’re taking control collectively and achieving the pop-punk sound they’ve been desiring for years, and they aren’t doing it alone. Some of their famous fans (and friends) include bands like All Time Low, Sleeping with Sirens, and Good Charlotte. Most albums have their flaws. There’s always going to be a song or two that are automatic skips for you when they come on. It always happens.
With SGFG, however, the strengths outweigh the flaws by far. It’s important to note that vocally, the album is more diverse than the self titled debut, in which majority of the songs were sung by guitarist Luke Hemmings and bassist Calum Hood. There is a lot more Michael Clifford and Ashton Irwin in this album.
The album opens with “Money,” which seemed to be widely disliked at first impression, but has grown into one of the most popular tracks very quickly. It’s the kind of song that’s going to sound amazing live, when the band takes this album on the road.
SGFG’s highest point comes in the middle of the album with “Catch Fire,” “Waste The Night,” “Safety Pin,” and “Vapor,” while previously released track “Jet Black Heart” also shines. “Vapor” is lyrically heavy, especially when Hemmings sings “I need another hit / You’re the thing that I can’t quit.” “Catch Fire,” as well as “Permanent Vacation,” have very distinct pop sounds, which sets them apart from the heavier sound the rest of the album features.
“Broken Home” is by far the album’s most emotional track; it’s written from the point of view of a little girl watching her family fall apart.
It’s unclear if personal experiences by any band member inspired the song, but the emotion behind the song is extremely real.
As the album winds down, “Invisible,” “Airplanes,” and “Outer Space/Carry On” mellow out compared to what came before them. “Invisible” is an important song, sang completely by Hood. “I was already missing / before the night I left” and “Who am I? Who am I?” are definite stand out lyrics from the song.
“Outer Space/Carry On” is seemingly the perfect ending to wind down the emotional rollercoaster of SGFG. Clocking in at 6:38, it’s the longest track on the album, but when it ends, it leaves a glimmer of hope behind.
From beginning to end, the album discusses falling in and out of love, broken relationships, feeling alone and lost, but the listener is left with “You know it’s gonna get better.” That’s the last thing a listener will hear from SGFG, and there’s no doubt the band did that on purpose. They’re trying to convey a message of it gets better. You may relate to their songs, but they want you to know it gets better. That’s a big deal, and just another reason among many, why this album is one of the best from this year.