Music Reviews

5 Seconds Of Summer: In Review

Gemma Cockrell

5 Seconds Of Summer, often abbreviated to 5SOS, are a pop-rock band from Sydney, Australia. They have become one of the most successful Australian musical acts, since travelling with One Direction as their support act on their 2012 tour. They started out as YouTube celebrities, but have sold over 10 million albums and two million concert tickets to date. Gemma Cockrell ranks 5 Seconds Of Summer’s studio albums for Impact’s ‘In Review’ series. 

When I first agreed to write this article, I had no idea just how difficult it would be. Not only are 5SOS the first band that I properly started listening to, and the first band that I saw live, meaning that many of their songs are tainted by nostalgia for me. But also, somehow, every single one of their albums features some of the band’s best songs ever, alongside others that I’m admittedly not so keen on.

But after much time and deliberation, I managed to rank their four studio albums. I didn’t include their EPs or B-sides, because this tier list was difficult enough as it is, but Wrapped Around Your Finger from their ‘Don’t Stop’ EP is the band’s best song. Period. Now that’s out the way, let’s get started with the albums.

4- ‘Sounds Good, Feels Good’ (2015)

I’ll admit that I wasn’t really a fan of this album when it first came out back in 2015. I was a hardcore self-titled stan, as you’ll see later on in the list, so I think I was bound to feel that ‘SGFG’ was a step down in comparison. Not only has the title always made me cringe a bit, but so do the album’s singles, most notably Money and Hey Everybody!.

The rest of the album just doesn’t match up to those highlights 

However, with time, I have come to realise that the album is nowhere near as bad as I initially thought, and any criticism I have does not apply to Jet Black Heart, one of 5SOS’s best songs of all time. Other tracks, including Castaway and Fly Away, are also highlights as well, that I have come to appreciate with time. But unfortunately, even with time, the rest of the album just doesn’t match up to those highlights for me.

3- ‘CALM’ (2020)

5SOS’s most recent album, ‘CALM’, sitting relatively low on this list, may just be because it hasn’t had the time to grow on me yet, having only been released in 2020. It has some brilliant tracks, including the album’s singles Easier and Teeth, as well as No Shame and Not In The Same Way.

It is a relatively consistent album, in the sense that there are no tracks that I strongly dislike. However, the highlights of the band’s other albums stand out more to me than the highlights of ‘CALM’, and that’s why ‘CALM’ sits in the bottom half of my list.

2- ‘5 Seconds Of Summer’ (2014)

You may be surprised that this isn’t top of my list, since I said I was a self-titled stan. And, don’t get me wrong, I am. However, even though I loved these songs when I was 13, I have to admit that some of them haven’t aged too well.

Nostalgia may taint this one a bit for me, but I still love it

I definitely listened to She Looks So Perfect and Don’t Stop too many times, because I can’t bring myself to listen to them anymore without cringing, and I now realise, with age, that some of the lyrics, most notably in Track 18, are not the most tasteful.

Having said that, the more emotional tracks from the album, such as Everything I Didn’t Say, Beside You, and Amnesia, have aged much better, in my opinion. Nostalgia may taint this one a bit for me, but I still love it. 13-year-old me would be disappointed if I didn’t.

1- ‘Youngblood’ (2018)

Has the highest proportion of my favourite 5SOS tracks

I didn’t listen to this album much when it was first released, since I had not overcome my disappointment from ‘Sounds Good Feels Good’ yet. However, the title track has become the band’s most popular song by far, and for good reason. It opens the album up perfectly, followed by three of the album’s best tracks in the form of Want You Back, Lie To Me, and Valentine.

The album definitely has its fair share of filler along the way, and songs that I do probably tend to skip quite often. However, you can’t ignore highlights such as More, Empty Wallets (even though I know the band strongly dislike it), the brilliant album closer Babylon, and one of the band’s career defining songs, Ghost Of You.

While acknowledging that the album isn’t perfect, it also has the highest proportion of my favourite 5SOS tracks out of every one of their albums, without being negatively affected by any lack of maturity. So, that’s why ‘Youngblood’ is top of my list.

Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image courtesy of @5sos via No changes were made to this image.

In-article video courtesy of 5SOS via No changes were made to this video.

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