Youngblood Album Review

Album Review: Youngblood Deluxe by 5 Seconds of Summer

New songs that sound like throwbacks? Count me in!


5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) just put out an exploration of modern rock, 80's classics and alt- pop-rock after a 3-year hiatus that blew my mind. I've always been a fan of their music. It reminds me of the late-90's, early 2000's pop-punk and pop-rock that I grew up listening to throughout elementary and middle school. What interests me much more than any other aspect of the band is their musicality.

All four members play instruments and sing regardless of experimentation with their style and genre-focus of their music. And listening to their latest album, Youngblood, they've only gotten better and more adventurous with their creations and curation. Overall, although there were some clichéd lyrics which are unavoidable when music is inspired by decades of other artists, the composition and production of the album meanders through different rock genres and pop influences.

Some might claim that the band has lost its sound and is wandering to find direction. I, however, disagree wholeheartedly. The album is an introduction to the pilot episode for the new risks that the band is taking to define themselves.

Youngblood starts off strong with a bass drum beat that maintains the anthemic vibe of the album with the title song, "Youngblood." The mix between chill, modern synths and keyboard with pop-rock guitar and drums has worked with 5SOS before. And it works again. The first single off the album has a catchy tune with audience-participation-worthy lyrics to shout out in any venue that the band might take their tour on.

"Want You Back" follows and harkens back to 5SOS' debut album while retaining the pop elements reminiscent of their pop-mentors, One Direction, but without distracting from the album's style. It's obvious that they've worked hard in their time off to shift their record from the band they started off as. Their musicality has improved vastly, containing complex chord progressions and intricate drumming. This song represents the band as influenced by the last decade of music, while having reached of age in the mid-2010s.

Those same pop elements can be found on "Lie to Me" and "Valentine." They also show a maturity of subject, although we've heard some of those lyrics before. "Valentine" changes course to a Black Keys, Panic! at the Disco-type of alt-rock that can be experienced through the rest of the record.

What really threw me for the best loop I've been on in a while was hearing "Talk Fast." I could make comparisons to so many 80's and early 90's rock and pop-rock performers that I listened to on my parent's cassettes. I have not heard this sound in new music with young artists yet. The guitar kills and the chorus is a bop-and-a-half!

There is the similar style found in later songs on the album as what started-off the record such as "Moving Along," "If Walls Could Talk," "Better Man," and "More." All their voices, and especially Luke's, have matured greatly and create an addicting sound.

"Why Won't You Love Me," Woke Up in Japan," "Empty Wallets," "Ghost of You," and "Monster Among Men" slow down the tracks and bring around a more chill atmosphere, but gets me thinking: 'Who hurt you, 5SOS?' The music and lyrics are more mature, but this part of the record highlights the life experiences the band has drawn from since the last time they released music. Their layered voices, in general, and harmonies, specifically, add depth to the songs, differing from the single-voiced verses they partitioned in earlier records.

Rounding off the record are "Meet You There" and "Babylon." The entire album shows development and careful research conveyed through the musicality and lyricism in each song. These bold songs, like "Babylon," seem like music that can be boomed through an arena tour, or sang through in concert hall venues.

I am incredibly interested to see what music and direction that 5 Seconds of Summer will voyage through and discover. If this album is any indication of their future, I'm way on board!

Cover Image Credit:

Wikimedia Commons

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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