5 Seconds of Summer’s ‘CALM’ Gives a Splash of Life


(Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

By Paige Lee, Arts Writer


In the midst of a global pandemic, 5 Seconds of Summer released an album titled “CALM.” “CALM” contains 12 songs, two of which were already very popular stand-alones long before the full album was released  — “Teeth” and “Easier.”

Though 5SOS has been an internationally popular bad for several years now, I have to admit with a hint of sadness that I never took the time to become familiar with their music before the release of “CALM.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the band’s songs when they came on the radio — I just hadn’t ever sat down and listened to any of their albums before. But as it turns out, a little time in quarantine was all it took for me to finally give the band a proper chance.

“CALM” is full of stories about love, longing for the past and finding yourself. Every single track within the album has a completely different feel from the last — the mood is always changing, but the most compelling part is that all of the songs in the album seem to play with some new idea.

The first time I listened to “CALM,” I wasn’t immediately swayed into adoration for the album. I thought it was good, and I enjoyed the songs. I noticed interesting themes of love gone wrong and I honestly enjoyed the stories that the songs were telling, but once the music finished, I moved on with my day without an extra thought.

But inevitably, 5SOS’s songs eventually started to reenter my mind. Once that happened, it wasn’t long before I chose to stream the album a second time. If “CALM” was good the first time I heard it, it was completely addictive the second time. 5SOS’s newest album is filled with songs that are so easy to fall in love with. Every single song is so different from the last, both in style and in the mood — yet somehow the whole album feels totally cohesive. 5SOS’s style shines through in this album in a way that makes it stand out in the best way.


Favorite Tracks

“Red Desert,” the album’s opening song seems to detail the band’s longing for home and for something familiar. The song has an almost ’80s feel to it that took me a couple of times to like, but once I did start to understand the song, it resonated with me so well that I couldn’t help putting it on repeat — something about the song feels very genuine.

“No Shame” is an upbeat song about fame and the unhealthy need for attention that it can bring. It is such a happy-sounding song that on the first few listens it sounds more like a love song. The song is one of those fantastic pieces that gives a sad message with a tune so exuberant that it almost makes you want to get up and dance.

“Lover of Mine” and “Best Years” both sound like they detail a love that is given a second chance. In each of these two, lead vocalists Luke Hemmings and Calum Hood express regret for the past and hope for the future simultaneously. These songs are calming and easy to sing to, which is absolutely my favorite type of song. “High” is another song in the album that has a quiet mood to it, though the message is completely opposite to the other two slow songs in “CALM.”


The Takeaway

I am obsessed with this new album. What might be the best part of 5SOS’s recent music is that if you let it, it has the ability to make you feel like you’re in another time and place. For me, “CALM” serves not only as a distraction from the difficulties that have arisen in the present but also as a reminder that there are brighter days ahead.


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