“Sounds Good, Feels Good (Deluxe)” by 5 Seconds of Summer: Album Review

It’s finally October 23! The second album from 5 Seconds of Summer has finally been released, and is currently streaming over Spotify and through other sources as you read these words. And, in a rare display of me getting two separate back to back day of reviews up, it’s time for an album review! i don’t have much time, but I’ve cleared a spot to write this out.

“Money” opens the album with a recording of distant voices and slight guitar noises that rises suddenly into an explosion of vocals and music. The energy is high from the get go as it paints a wonderful image of getting lost in the moment. It’s a wonderful song that really gets you jamming along to the music and sets the stage for the rest of the album. “She’s Kinda Hot” has been previously reviewed, as has “Hey Everybody!”, and I don’t have too much to add to either track. “Permanent Vacation” begins with heavy guitar and a fun vibe to do it that gets the listener dancing along. It flows along at a quick pace, and sets up an energy that is overwhelmingly positive despite having a few lyrics that can paint a more negative picture.  “Jet Black Heart” is another single I reviewed previously, so we’ll slide right on into the next track I haven’t heard!  “Catch Fire” starts off with a sort of tinny rhythm with a pacing that slowly picks up speed at a steady rate. It’s a song twinged with longing and desire that were never quite answered in the exact way they were wanted, but painted in a way that shows there’s joy in the journey, and the things that we get in place of wildest dreams.

“Safety Pin” opens with a soft, guitar driven melody, with drums the build the song up suddenly, and leave to a quick paced song with a variety of small effects sprinkled throughout the song. It’s a cute song and highly romantic, but I’d like to take a step aside and say that you shouldn’t find your healing in one person, as I’ve witnessed how dangerous and counterproductive this can be. You can certainly find a fix in someone that makes you want to be better, and heal alongside them as is done in the song. The song is a majority of ‘we’ and ‘us’ and not a majority of “you make me better and I can’t survive without you”. You can certainly have someone that can get through and help you, but that shouldn’t be the entire relationship. A relationship should bring out the best in both, and focusing too much on the “you make me better and without you there’s no point” and not enough on the “we make each other better because we bring out the best in one another” can lead to a very toxic mess. Again, “Safety Pin” focuses on the ‘we’, and it just brought the other part to mind. And now after this mini diversion, we slide into the next track. “Waste the Night” starts off with a very airy melody that leads into a quick paced song that builds quickly into a well balanced blend of vocals and instruments. It has a relaxing quality to it in a way, even though it it is very thematically about not letting things slip through your fingers. There is a moment where it seems to end, but then a soft but quick build happens, and the song ends with a lot of high energy that actually matches the theme in a sense. “Vapor” opens with a sort of ethereal assortment of sounds, and it sort of makes you feel like you’re floating. It captures all sides of love as an emotion with ease. Love can be all consuming, but it doesn’t have to be all consuming in a negative way.However, an all consuming love is dangerous and there are subtle hints of that danger throughout the song. “Castaway” begins with deeper sounds, and a quick pace that easily gets into the bones and sits there like a soft hum. It captures the chaotic mess that follows a break up. And yet, in a way that manages to earn all of my respect, 5 Seconds of Summer manage to capture positive notes in the track. Sometimes you can’t fix a relationship, but castaways can always survive to get on another boat. It won’t be easy, but it’s not the end for you. “The Girl Who Cried Wolf” begins with distant vocals and a soft, vibrating hum that builds into a gentle melody, and easy pacing that really scoops the listener up and pulls them along. The song builds up gently, bit by bit, as it paints a variety of emotions and a general feeling of being there. It creates an interesting story, that can be twisted and pulled in many different directions, depending on what comes to the listener’s mind. “Broken Home” opens with a quick paced melody and a darker story at the very start of the song, and shows a child like view of the titular subject. The song builds, and the narrator grows with it. It illustrates the negative side of forcing the relationship to work when it’s obviously done.

“Fly Away” is the last song I’ll be skipping since it wraps up all the singles I reviewed. “Invisible” starts off with a guitar driven melody, and soft vocals that easily paint a sad story that’s easy to relate to. It’s easy to disappear into a slump, and the song captures that expertly. And then it starts to build rapidly, leaving the slower notes behind for faster paced ones and bigger sounds. It drops down quickly, and fades into a violin that expresses a lot of ending emotion, before giving way to the next song. “Airplanes” begins with a more all over the place and energetic variety of sounds. It builds into a high paced song that it just dripping with boundless optimism and seeing the good in the world. It’s the perfect compliment to “Invisible”, and the two play off each other beautifully well. “San Francisco” starts off with another guitar driven melody, and quickly takes on a nostalgic view of things, but in a way that shows that the narrator is thinking of how to fix things with another person. It illustrates all the benefits of starting over with someone. A second beginning is not always a dumb thing to do. Sometimes it is right. The song drops off for a moment, and then shifts into a quick, bubbling build with a scifi feel to it that drops off into a steady rhythm and melody blend. It carries on at an easy pace, mixing in a few notes from the violin that was so heavily featured in an earlier track.  “Outer Space/Carry On” opens with big vocals, and a heavy beat. An energy is created almost instantly, vibrating through the bones. It paints a picture of needing someone so badly, but then the changes to a slower pace and a bigger sound, and starts painting a slightly clearer picture of the negative side of needing someone else’s love to ‘be okay’ while hidden in a blend of energy that is easy to get caught in. There is a period of white noise, where all that’s heard is rain and distant thunder, before the song changes into the other half. A church like humming sound, and choir styled vocals as a picture of dragging oneself into a better place is painted. The two halves of the song paint the manic blindness and soft realizations of a bad period that is overcome with ease, and demonstrates a subtle sense of growth.

All in all? This was a fantastic album. This was an utterly brilliant album that is completely breathtaking. Go take an hour out of your day and listen to this album, because it is worth it. There are so many brilliant songs, so many interpretations, that it is hard to summarize it in a single post. Sounds Good, Feels Good was completely worth the wait, and I look forward to hearing more and more from 5 Seconds of Summer in years to come.

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