Sounds Good Feels Good [Deluxe Edition] [Region 4]
With their spiky hair, electric guitars, and dewy, lip-ringed smiles, Australia's 5 Seconds of Summer are often dubbed the One Direction of punk-pop. It's an admittedly facile if apt comparison reinforced by the fact that 5SOS (Five Sauce, as their fans call them) toured with One Direction in 2013. However, even if 5SOS are a punk boy band, then it's a minor distinction, and one that's arguably been around since Green Day first incepted it with 1994's Dookie. It's also a brilliant marketing tool brought to apotheosis at the dawn of the millennium by blink-182's multi-platinum album Enema of the State. Sixteen years after blink-182's breakthrough, 5SOS have taken stock of all the small things with their sophomore album, 2015's Sounds Good Feels Good, a slick, professional production that finds them embracing their punky boy band image with unabashed glee. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer John Feldmann (the Used, All Time Low, Plain White T's), who previously helmed most of the group's debut album, Sounds Good Feels Good also finds the group collaborating with a handful of like-minded if slightly older artists, including Good Charlotte's Benji and Joel Madden, All Time Low's Alex Gaskarth, and others. Generally speaking, this big brother/little brother vibe works, and cuts like the "She's Kinda Hot" and "Permanent Vacation" are upbeat, singalong-ready anthems that bring to mind a mix of influences from Green Day to Sugar Ray. The rest of Sounds Good Feels Good reveals a more earnest inclination, with 5SOS delving into some dancey, 1975-esque post-punk on "Waste the Night," going for acoustic, orchestral flourishes on the ballad "Invisible," and shading their chunky '90s Radiohead guitars with crooning emo-angst on "Airplanes." Ultimately, for most of the group's fan base, Sounds Good Feels Good will live up to the promise of its title. ~ Matt Collar
Rolling Stone - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Their second LP shows off their musical knowledge and ambition without getting in the way of their own preternatural adorableness."
Spin - "5SOS' brand of guitar-heavy effervescence also connects the quartet to the musical lineage of post-Green Day pop-punk."
Entertainment Weekly - "SOUNDS GOOD FEELS GOOD takes a huge leap forward from the band's self-titled debut, bombarding tightly-constructed post-alt crunch with snotty melodies and fist-pumping choruses."
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