5 Seconds of Summer’s debut album should not be written off due to their reputation as “that band that supported One Direction”. The band have worked with pop-punk heroes Alex Gaskarth and Joel and Benji Madden, appealing to not only the pop masses but also pop-punk fans curious as to whether 5SOS are the real deal.
The album as a whole is definitely enjoyable. The songs are definitely more pop than punk but have still gained approval from Rock Sound, Kerrang! and other rock publications. The singles She Looks So Perfect and Don’t Stop are definite summer anthems and while it could be argued that they could fit in on a 1D album the smooth vocals and catchy riffs cannot be denied.
It isn’t all cheesy pop anthems though, Kiss Me Kiss Me – co-written with All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth – and Amnesia which was written with the help of Good Charotte’s Madden brothers won’t disappoint pop-punk fans as the influence of the co-writers is unmistakable. However, rather than sounding distinctively like 5 Seconds of Summer songs the songs sound more like ATL and GC songs respectively which leads to the question of how much input 5SOS really had.
Other stand out tracks include Good Girls, English Love Affair and End Up Here – the latter suggesting that maybe it wasn’t just Gaskarth’s writing skills which gave 5SOS a decent pop-punk song after all as the song is definitely not a flimsy pop tune.
However, the carefree enjoyment of this summery, catchy album is hindered by Heartbreak Girl – a song dedicated to whining about the “friend zone” and how a girl’s boyfriend doesn’t deserve her and “oh I’m such a nice guy you should go out with me even if you’re not attracted to me!!!” The song is utterly disappointing and gives the band’s younger fans a problematic message that they owe boys who like them something and this dampens the vibe of the whole album.
Overall though, this debut release from 5 Seconds of Summer is definitely worth a listen for any pop OR pop-punk fan and on the whole is a good, fun, summer album and is sure to catapult 5SOS into bigger things.