When you listen to 5 Seconds of Summer‘s sophomore album Sounds Good Feels Good in its entirety, it is clear that they are so ready to break out of the boy band mold that they were being marketed as. They’re a great example of how sometimes a major label can alter an artist or band’s image purely for branding purposes, but it looks like they got a lot more creative rights as to what kind of music they want to put out in this album. Let’s just say that they’ve come a long way since “She Looks So Perfect” in a short amount of time.
Take their lead single “She’s Kinda Hot” for example. It was easy to think that it was just going to be a continuation of “She Looks So Perfect,” but those sneaky tricksters proved us wrong and gave us a fun ‘believe-in-yourself’ anthem. They continued to give us something new to look forward to with pop punk-infused promo singles “Fly Away” and ” Money,” as well as second single “Hey Everybody!” However, the underdog of the group is “Jet Black Heart,” a mid-tempo track that showcases the insecurities that come with wanting to prove yourself to someone you truly care about while fearing that they won’t accept your flaws and past mistakes.
Sounds Good Feels Good actually introduces us to a side of 5SoS that we didn’t get a chance to see in their first album. This time around, there’s an abundance of ballads that range in topics from the typical bittersweet love (“Waste The Night,” “Vapor”) and breakup songs (“Castaway,” “The Girl Who Cried Wolf”).
Apart from “Jet Black Heart,” the highlights of this album are hands down “Broken Home” and “Invisible.” The former is a heart wrenching look into what a kid goes through as they watch their parents’ marriage crumble in front of them, while the latter delves into the regrets of taking life for granted, no matter what age you are. They end the album with the two-part conclusion that should’ve been two separate songs “Outer Space/Carry On.”
Sounds Good Feels Good is filled with an variation of songs that fit closer to 5 Seconds of Summer’s influences (All Time Low, Boys Like Girls, Blink-182), which in a way is probably the kind of music they wanted to put out all along. There is a clear difference between their first album and this one, which includes more ballad-esque tracks gets away from the cute-sy love songs that riddled their debut release. In fact, they practically turn the tables on the listener as most of their songs are closer to the emotion they showcased in “Amnesia.” Maybe the changes were a product of heavily working with The Madden Brothers in their songwriting, or maybe Sounds Good Feels Good is the album that they should’ve released at the beginning of their career.