5 Seconds of Summer Listen & Learn
Dear Fanboys & Fangirls,
I am all about honesty here at My Fangirl Life, and I have another confession to make:
I know nothing about 5 Seconds of Summer.
As a dedicated fangirl, and even worse as a Directioner, I know this is a sin. I have been hearing their name for months and yet my only 5SoS experience is the occasional observation of their current single on the radio. This isn’t for lack of interest; I am very intrigued by this fresh-faced (I assume…I don’t actually know what they look like) group of young men. But all I actually know is that they are a collection of an unknown number of boys who sing catchy songs (or should I say song since I’ve only heard one so far) and that their premiere album came out this week. In honor of this monumental release I’ve decided to do a ‘Listen & Learn’. I just purchased the self-titled 5 Seconds of Summer album from iTunes and am going to give you my thoughts as I listen to it for the very first time.
“That covers the Listen portion, but what about the Learn?” you ask patiently. (I am imagining you all as being the best fangirls and being totally patient & understanding at my newness to this fandom) The Learn comes in when I look up the basics and/or fun new facts about the band to go with each song. Let’s begin!
5SoS Fact #1: The Absolute Basics
5 Seconds of Summer is made up of 4 teenage boys from Australia. This goes against my assumption that there would be 5 members (as indicated by the “5” in their name) and that they were probably British (due to their association with One Direction).
Track #1 – She Looks so Perfect
Excellent, I’m getting eased in with the song I already know. It goes without saying that this song is incredibly catchy…I mean it’s considered one of the 2014 “Songs of the Summer.” Based off this one song I see the band’s sound as pop/rock. It’s not boy band sickly sweet, like early One Direction (which is obviously the epitome of boy band these days…not that there is anything wrong with 1D…at all…I ❤ them). It has enough of an edge to appeal to a wider fan base; I don’t think guys would be embarrassed to be caught with this blaring out of their open windows at a stoplight. Verdict: we’re off to a solid start…bring on something new!
5SoS Fact #2: The Band
5SoS is in fact a band. The boys do not like being referred to as a boy band (not that there is anything wrong with that) because they write their own music & play their own instruments. Instead they’d like to be known as a rock band. You can see them rocking out on their instruments (as well as many people taking off their clothes…saucy…) in the She Looks So Perfect Music Video.
Track #2 – Don’t Stop
I can see why 5SoS has been described as “One Direction mixed with Blink-182.” The punk vibe that factors into this mix takes a pop hit and turns it into a teen anthem. Don’t Stop is the only other song on the album to have a music video. It’s pretty funny with the guys dressed as superheroes.
5SoS Fact #3: Origin Story
Every good superhero (or slightly useful superhero as is more appropriate in the case of the Don’t Stop video) needs a good origin story. For 5SoS it all begins at Norwest Christian College in Sydney. Here Luke invited some new school friends to join him in making videos for him YouTube channel. You need to watch their videos…and I’m not just saying this because I’m obsessed with YouTube. They are spectacular…they’d have to be to inspire what happened next…
Track #3 – Good Girls
I love this chorus. I just love it. The second verse is a bit weak lyric-wise, but it doesn’t matter because I will have this song blasting from my car speakers everywhere I go just so I can sing that chorus. I also enjoy the conversational set up of the verses…very dynamic.
5SoS Fact #4: The Fandom
5SoS fans are said to be part of the 5SoS Family. It’s a cute & inclusive name…although doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely as most other music fandom nicknames.
Track #4 – Kiss Me Kiss Me
Keeping the energy up, this song makes me want to dance in front of my bathroom mirror and make some teenage memories (ignoring the fact that I am not longer a teenager…). One question though: Where’s the 3rd ‘Kiss Me’ in the title?
5SoS Fact #5: The Big Break
5SoS’s connection is way more interesting than I assumed. Niall Horan is actually credited with their discovery. He found their homemade internet videos and started tweeting about how talented they were. Louis Tomlinson jumped on the bandwagon soon after with this tweet:
“Been a fan of this band for a while, everyone get behind them” w/ a link to the Gotta Get Out video
(Nov 6, 2012)
Track #5 – 18
As an adult I was inclined to judge this song harshly, however…How cute is this song? I imagine there are hoards of fans who identify with the scorn of being too young; I, on the other hand, am just left reminiscing of times gone by when I was less confident and more awkward. These boys are endearing themselves to me with the unassuming romances their lyrics describe. Not cocky, just unsure and hopeful, it’s so ‘teenaged’ in the best possible way.
5SoS Fact #6: Opening Act
In 18 5SoS laments being too young to win the heart of an older woman. In real life they did not let little things like age stop them. The band went on their first tour in 2013 as the opening act on 1D’s Take Me Home tour. Talk about exposure!
Track #6 – Everything I Didn’t Say
Tempo change! Everything I Didn’t Say is a power ballad full of regret, angst and Good Charolettesque vocals. This transition track is still a strong stand-along single and continues to paint a clear picture of the kind of band 5SoS wants to be.
5SoS Fact #7: Headliners
However being 1D’s opening act wasn’t even their biggest accomplishment of 2013. In the midst of that tour they flew home to headline their own Australia-wide tour. The tickets for many of these performances sold out in minutes.
Track #7 – Beside You
I love teenage angst. It’s the reason the fifth Harry Potter book is one of my favorites and it’s the reason why this track appeals to me so much. The yearning. The heartbreak. The wishful hopelessness. Sigh.
5SoS Fact #8: Record Deal
In November 2013 Capitol Records offered the band a record deal. Which means that only after travelling the world to delight audiences of screaming girls did 5SoS get signed.
Track #8 – End Up Here
For some reason I looked at the name of this track & expected it to continue on the mellowing out trend by being a sappy “How did we end up here so deeply in love?” song. I could not have been more wrong. Are they lusting after a one-night stand? How Cheeky…But done so cleverly with the self-deprecating, flirtatious manner I’m coming to expect from these boys paired with pop culture references that appeal to multiple generations. A track tween girls will love, but that is aimed a much broader audience. I didn’t expect yet another rock anthem this late in the album but here it is.
5SoS Fact #9: On Tour
Since being plucked from obscurity by an adorable boy band member things have been non-stop for these boys. They are back out on tour opening for 1D again during this summer’s Where We Are tour. They will also be headlining their own tours in 2015, each with cute location-based names:
North America (April) – Stars, Stripes & Maple Syrup Tour
Australia (May) – There’s No Place Like Home Tour
UK & Europe (May/June) – Rock Out With Your Socks Out Tour
Track #9 – Long Way Home
The melody of this song didn’t initially drawn me in, so I tried to focus on the lyrics to find my attachment to this song. They painted a picture of a real-life fairy tale love that is so appealing. Then the chorus kicked in and I was trying to sing along, even though this was the first time I’d hear the track and obviously didn’t know the words.
5SoS Fact #10: The Name
I know you’re all wondering it, I was too, how did 5 Seconds of Summer get their name? It’s a pretty simple story actually: Mikey randomly came up with it, texted the boys that he was going to use it as the band’s name, and everyone agreed. Easy-peasy. The boys thought process was that the name didn’t really matter as they would exist for such a short time & be so irrelevant that it wouldn’t matter what they were called. They could not have been more wrong.
Track #10 – Heartbreak Girl
Poor friend-zoned boy. As someone who has a bad habit of friend-zoning everyone I tried to take the story to heart. A fun, young beach-worth song, although not my favorite of the album.
5SoS Fact #11: The Members
(Warning: This is where obsession begins. I only wanted to know the names of the members of 1D and now look at me.)
I will have more detail later, but for now…The band is made up of:
Track #11 – Amnesia
With the punk-rock twinge to their style I wasn’t sure if 5SoS was going to give us a light, heart-felt love song. I’m so glad they did. This track is the very best of One Direction-ness and one of my very favorite parts of the album. A strong showing right to the end.
And unfortunately that’s the end of the album. What was your favorite track? Let me know in the comments! Now to play it again…on repeat…for the next 3 months…
Love & Luck,
“But Wait,” you ask. “Aren’t you missing some songs Kris?”
You must have the Extended Edition. I Listen & Learn to them as well in a BONUS post! And if you’d like to save a copy of the individual lyrics graphics I’ll have them all posted on my tumblr.