Review: ‘CALM’ brings musical variety, talent

5 Seconds of Summer expresses new era

Courtesy of Interscope Records.

Courtesy of Interscope Records.

The Australian boy group 5 Seconds of Summer, composed of members Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin, Luke Hemmings and Michael Clifford, released its new album “CALM” on Friday, March 27. The group did its best to promote the album with Instagram lives, calls to radio stations and Hemmings singing one of the singles from the album, “Old Me,” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon quarantine edition due to COVID-19. The band also released a YouTube video called “Carpool Karabloke” where they listen to the album and discuss the songs; during the video they explain how the album doesn’t have one style or one topic to be talked about and it’s OK because that’s how things work in the studio. 

The album begins with the song “Red Desert,” which includes a country-pop influence different from the singles they released before. The track gives the listeners an anthem in which they can sing along with the band but could also be played in a western movie. The song allows Hemmings to show off his range and give truthful lyrics to an assured loved one, with lyrics such as “The demons we’re running from, they are begging to stay.” This differs from past album starters, showing the band really cares about this project.

The first single, “Easier,” was released on Thursday, May 23, 2019, leaving astonishing reactions as the single was uniquely different from the previous album “Youngblood.” As the track gives off electro-pop vibes, Hemmings finds a way to incorporate his falsetto through the chorus while the rest of the band harmonizes beautifully with him. The track explores how one never knows if it’s easier to stay or go in a relationship because of how constant the person and the significant other argue and know both will not change because that’s who they are. 

In “Wildflower,” Hemmings steps back and lets Hood take over this ‘90s pop-inspired summer song. As Hood’s usually known for being the bassist of the band, his vocals and range were able to shine and left listeners speechless. This made fans happy because in the previous album, Hood had solo parts but made listeners always want more. By having a full solo song, supporters were pleased. The track is about how this certain person is the only one who makes him feel butterflies and how he can’t believe he is living this life with them.

Track nine, “Lover Of Mine,” starts off with soft piano but as soon as the chorus comes, one can see the pop and slight country influence, giving a Jeff Buckley vibe. The lyrics of the song are what stand out the most with how beautifully meaningful they are such as, “When I take a look at my life and all of my crimes you’re the only thing that I think I got right.” Though what makes it special is the fact that Hemmings wrote these lyrics with his girlfriend Sierra Deaton, making it one of his favorites out of the album.

The album concludes with “High,” a straight up acoustic with light piano and soft guitar strings, being drastically different to what the band does musically. It can be considered the most emotional due to how Hemmings embraces the lyrics and uses his range. The song talks about how he hopes the person thinks of him highly but he knows it’s difficult because her friends don’t like him. The song then goes on how he wants to change but he doesn’t think the person has enough respect for him to at least see him try.

“Calm” showed the musical talent 5 Seconds of Summer has with the varied musical influences of each song. The band found ways to keep the listeners intrigued throughout the entire album from as little as adding ad libs to changing the whole entire melody. With the amount of work put into this album and the boys being proud of it, the album deserves 5 out of 5 stars. Though they walked into a different era of the band and seeing they are enjoying every minute of it, fans want to support them so they can finally get recognized for their talents.