Alter The Press!


ATP! Album Review: 5 Seconds Of Summer - LIVESOS

Live albums are really hit or miss, either better than the actual album, like You Me At Six’s Final Night of Sin, or prone to falling flat. At first listen, LIVESOS seems like an average live record by one of the biggest breakthrough bands of the year. But, after close listening, it becomes clear the album is fabulous.

The tracks on LIVESOS were recorded at venues all around the world on each tour that 5 Seconds of Summer embarked on in 2014. The fact that each song was recorded in a different place makes the album feel a little disjointed when played from beginning to end, because the fun onstage banter is with a different audience in each song. However, the tracks on their own are well mixed with great sound, which definitely makes up for the disjointed feeling to some extent.

LIVESOS starts with one of the band’s oldest songs, “18.” The intro would be awesome heard at an actual show, but it’s a little too long for listening to an album. However, the growth and progression of the band is clear when comparing an older live version of “18” to the newer recording on LIVESOS. There is a strong sense that 5 Seconds of Summer is becoming even more talented.

The album is full of songs from the 5 Seconds of Summer’s self-titled album, covers and even a song that never made it on the album. “Disconnected,” easily one of the band’s best songs to date, is included on LIVESOS. The recorded version from She Looks So Perfect EP is impressive enough, but the live version is even more powerful. The live harmonies add a depth to the song that wasn’t there before and the crowd singing along transports the listener to the concert. “Disconnected” is one of the most memorable tracks on LIVESOS because of its ability to bring the live show to the listener.

Including “End Up Here,” one of the best songs off 5 Seconds of Summer’s self-titled album, on LIVESOS set expectations fairly high. The band did not disappoint, creating a fabulous live recording of the track. The moment where Irwin sings, “I’m a six and she’s a ten,” is particularly exciting – it’s clear how much the band has grown up in just one year.

Another standout was “Amnesia.” A well-liked and beautifully written, the track translates even more beautifully and heartfelt on LIVESOS. Calum’s vocals are especially stunning, and the talent showcased in this live version by all four of the band members is phenomenal. It really shows how much they’ve matured in every aspect of their lives and careers. As far as the other big singles on the album go, this live version of “Good Girls” is the best the song has ever sounded. The boys mess around with melodies and it sounds extra energetic, especially around the bridge and last chorus.

One of the other memorable moments of the album is the band covering “Teenage Dream” originally by Katy Perry. 5 Seconds of Summer has been performing this cover at every show they’ve ever done for the past two years, but it honestly never gets old. It’s awesome that fans who have never seen them play a full show get to hear this famous cover in high quality. “Teenage Dream” is definitely a highlight of LIVESOS for new fans and old fans alike.

At the end of the album, 5 Seconds of Summer included the studio-recorded version of their cover of “What I Like About You,” which was also on the She Looks So Perfect EP. It’s honestly one of the best songs they’ve ever performed both live and recorded. The way they play this cover is energetic and just so quintessentially 5 Seconds of Summer.

All in all, LIVESOS is a high quality and entertaining album, as far as live records go. Every song on the album makes the listener feel one step closer to sitting front row at a show, which is definitely what the band was aiming for. This album should be purchased immediately, blasted through speakers in a car or a bedroom, and sung along to wildly – it’s just that fun.


LIVESOS is out now via Capitol Records.

- Caroline Hall

Alter The Press!