A taste of fame can be a dangerous thing. 5 Seconds Of Summer had that and more with their first run, and after a long hiatus they've returned, but with a suspiciously agreeable new sound. 5 Seconds Of Summer jumps on trends in Youngblood, returning with a safe yet unfulfilling sound.
The original pop punk charm of 5 Seconds Of Summer's original sound is largely sacrificed for the typical "woe is me" pop trope. Opening title track 'Youngblood' sets the atmosphere up right away, the slow, emotional vocals and quiet guitar sounding like the direct intersection of Harry Styles and Shawn Mendes, just a little less genuine. For what it's worth, the vibe overall is very cool, and the choruses is executed fantastically; the song's downfall is its unfulfilling build. It just goes nowhere by the end. 'More' is perhaps where the band really connects with their new sound, the distorted guitar riffs falling in line perfectly with their poppier sound. Otherwise, there's never a real place where their new sound seems to mesh with their original.
That being said, the pop sound, while a big turn of direction, isn't all that bad on them. Some numbers don't shine, like the repetitive 'Better Man' and the standard 'Why Won't You Love Me,' but others do at least sound like something went into them. 'Want You Back' sounds like a more upbeat version of The 1975, while the energetic ballad style returns in 'Moving Along.' 5 Seconds Of Summer go 80s in 'Talk Fast,' while the record ends quietly and emotionally on 'Ghost Of You.' The record isn't bad for how it sounds, but the quick flip of the script with the sound following that hiatus feels like there's a lack of genuinity in there.
5 Seconds Of Summer jumps on trends in Youngblood, taking on a much more poppier sound than their previous efforts. It's not a bad execution, but it feels disingenuous as a come back. If this is the path they take, they can certainly own it, but they really need to connect with themselves more in the writing.
Favorite Track: More
Least Favorite Track: Better Man
Rating: 70 / 100
Stream or buy Youngblood on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: