Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Two years since their last album, Youngblood, 5 Seconds of Summer has returned with not only their newest album CALM, but also a growth in their musical sound. The name comes from the first initials of each of the members, Calum, Ashton, Luke, and Michael. In an interview with the band by the New York Post, Luke Hemmings, the lead singer, explained, “it’s also a nod to our fans that coined us that name in our early days… It kind of just sums up [that] we’re a little bit older and a little bit wiser.”
Consisting of only 12 songs, it’s a sharp decrease from the total of 16 on their previous album, but the space is most definitely filled by quality and diversity.
The first song “Red Desert” immediately dives into CALM in the soulful chorus, “Red, red desert, heal our blues / I’d dive deeper for you,” building into the rhythmic beat that feeds the single. The song is a step-up and well-done expansion of sound for the band. It’s not quite as heavy in pop elements the band is accustomed to and explores more into the abilities existing within their harmonious vocals.
“Teeth” brings the listener back to more of that pop-punk driven sound, for this song, according to the track breakdown done by Hemmings for Apple Music, the band attempted to have as little snares as possible. This in turn helped give the track its distinctive intensity and heavy bass. The song provides a euphonic contrast of dark and vulnerable lyrics matched by the fervent beat, “You’re looking at me like you don’t know who I am / Blood on my shirt, heart in my hand.”
Overall, the album exceeds expectations, particularly in growth of sound and lyrics and marks a significant point of change and hope for the band. CALM reinforces and strengthens the bright future of 5 Seconds of Summer and their music.