A Review of Ashton Irwin's Superbloom

To anyone upset by the lack of solos from Ashton Irwin in 5 Seconds of Summer’s latest album CALM, don’t worry, because he just released an album full of his wonderful voice. On October 23rd, Irwin released his first solo album, Superbloom, and I think it might have saved 2020. It’s no secret that he’s an incredible lyricist and musician, but getting the opportunity to work outside of the box has put him onto a new level.

The first three tracks on the album, “SCAR,” “Have U Found What Ur Looking For?,” and “Skinny Skinny,” were the perfect introduction into the world of Superbloom. Each one touched a delicate topic, from body dysmorphia in “Skinny Skinny” to a letter to his family and the pain he has felt before in “SCAR,” these songs made me so excited to hear the rest of the album. Next up is “Greyhound,” a six-minute rock song about how hard people work themselves and the constant cycle of trying to push yourself forwards, just like greyhounds. Based on the tattoo he recently got of an outline of a greyhound, it’s safe to say that this song is one he loves a lot, and I couldn’t agree more. Right in the middle of the album is “Matter of Time (Interlude),” which literally feels like a hug. It’s a soft song about how pain is temporary and that you can keep going and experience happiness. I have listened to as I’ve gone to bed every night since Superbloom has come out, and I have a feeling I will continue to do so for a while.

Starting off the second half of the album is “Sunshine,” a song about stepping into the metaphorical sunshine and letting go of what’s been hurting you to feel truly happy again. What really sticks out to me in this song is the strings. Irwin had a lot of freedom with this album and the ability to experiment, and I think you hear that a lot in “Sunshine,” and, of course, it sounds incredible. Track seven is called “The Sweetness,” which Ashton said in his Instagram live stream the night Superbloom dropped is about getting help. Too often people are too scared to get therapy or ask for help, and this song is about how great it feels to start recovering. The production in this song is incredible, and we really get to hear a side of Ashton’s voice we haven’t heard before, which makes me love it even more. The next song is “I’m To Blame,” a song about helping people find their way and opening up their minds. Ashton is a very smart and spiritual person, and as someone who has really learned a lot from listening to him talk about his outlook on life and how he thinks, I’m so glad that he is to blame. This is followed by my current favorite song, “Drive.” It’s about being there for someone when they’re struggling and just going out and driving to get away from everything. To me, driving is one of the most therapeutic things out there, so I love knowing Ashton agrees with me on that one. And if the lyrics and him dedicating it to his girlfriend KayKay Blaisdell didn’t make it beautiful enough, he really shows off his vocal abilities in the bridge of the song, which took my breath away. Ending the album is “Perfect Lie,” a song that feels almost haunting. This one is about the songs that 5 Seconds of Summer released years ago that fans still love and want them to play, but he doesn’t. The lyric that really took my breath away here is “mistakes are the stories that take us straight to the stage, it’s the heartache that sells.” I can’t imagine what it would be like to have become famous at a young age like he did, and this made me realize how it must feel for him and the rest of the band to still be playing songs like “Amnesia” 6 years after its release. It’s a beautiful song and a great ending to a great album.

To say I’m proud of Ashton is an understatement. He’s soared to new heights on Superbloom, with every single song being even better than the last. He even said he feels like he has enough written to make 20 more albums, and I am hoping he does just that. But until then, I know I’ll be listening to Superbloom on repeat.