The fourth album from Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer, “CALM,” comes two years after 2018’s “Youngblood” — arguably their most successful album to date.
5SOS is a band that has struggled to find their unique sound. At the beginning of their career, their tour with boyband One Direction seemed to give them the label of boyband, though the four members of 5SOS identify themselves as more of an alternative-pop band.
As they continue to release music, it’s been interesting to see the direction each album takes them in.
“CALM” is an album that deviates from the pop sounds of “Youngblood,” the title track of which is one of their most popular songs.
The deep bass tones that dominate the album give “CALM,” as a whole, a much more cohesive sound — something we saw in earlier albums but seemed to lack in “Youngblood.”
Furthermore, the lyrics of the songs create a united theme that ties in elements of youth, freedom, romance, fame and heartbreak. It’s a diverse album, as each song speaks for itself while contributing to the larger feel of the whole.
“Wildflower” is a song full of anthemic positivity seeped with the freedom of youth. It has a sense of nostalgia, as it reflects on a lively relationship that doesn’t care to be constrained or defined. It’s a song with lots of potential, and fans have already realized it.
Even the slower songs on the album, such as “Lover of Mine” and “Thin White Lines,” have different individual themes that fit into the larger scheme of the album. Both focus on relationships, but act to juxtapose each other.
“Lover of Mine” is about holding onto a relationship when there’s something to hold on to, while “Thin White Lines” is more about needing to let go of someone when it isn’t meant to be.
In multiple ways, I think this album showcases the songwriting ability of 5SOS more than their other albums. All four members participate in songwriting, but Luke Hemmings, the lead singer, is usually the most involved.
“High,” the final song on the album, best illustrates Hemmings’ ability to create memorable lyrics that are simple and flow without sounding forced.
The repetition of “I hope you think of me high / I hope you think of me highly” in the chorus are lyrics that make listeners stop and really think about the meaning of the song. The lyrics are creative without being pretentious.
Overall, “CALM” is an album in which 5 Seconds of Summer feels united with a more cohesive, genuine sound than we’ve ever seen from them — a triumph for both the band and their fans.