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The New Broken Scene: A “Sounds Good, Feels Good” Review

5 Seconds of Summer’s second album was released on October 23rd, 2015. Some of the tracks had already been released, and I was really excited. But, nothing could prepare me for the emotions I was going to experience because of this album.

The album had been promoted using street art around the world. Each song had a character created that enveloped the song, and those images were being seen around the world. You could scan the picture onto a certain app, and then you would hear a message from one of the boys of 5SOS, talking about the song that corresponds with that character. It was all very cool, but the one thing that sparked my interest was the fact that 5SOS said the album was going to get very real. They said they were going to talk about things people are scared to talk about, like mental illness and how young people don’t feel good about themselves. The boys draw inspiration from their own struggles with these topics, which they’ve expressed lately in interviews. They even created a New Broken Scene to celebrate everybody, a place for people to feel comfortable and safe, and also to start a revolution.  This album is only the beginning, and I’m here to break down the songs of Sounds Good, Feels Good.



Favorite Lyric: Blue hair, blue eyes, I saw her

This track is the first on the album, and I absolutely love the beginning. It starts off with some mumbling from the boys, and it makes it feel intimate, as if I am right in the studio with them. They are telling me to take their money, and I would honestly love to. I will take your money and pay my student loans, thanks. Overall, this is a very fun opening song for the album.

“She’s Kinda Hot”

Favorite Lyric:  When you’ve got bigger plans/that no one else understands/you’ve got a shot though

Don’t be fooled by the title – this song is not any sort of love song. This song is about accepting yourself for what you are, and not trying to change that. It touches on mental illness, parental relationships, and just being yourself. This was a great first single for 5 Seconds of Summer, as I think it is a great song to summarize the album as a whole.


“Hey Everybody!”

Favorite Lyric:  And what’s ironic to me/the ones that don’t ever leave/think that they know

The tune of the verses is literally the tune of “Hungry Like The Wolf” by Duran Duran and I love it. This is another song about money, although instead of giving it out, there is a struggle to have it. Despite money issues, this song is about living life in spite of those problems, and that money should not be your focus in life – it should be your happiness.


“Permanent Vacation”

Favorite Lyric: Frustration, desperation/you say I need some kind of medication/situation, no motivation

After listening to this, I’m still amazed at how many words rhyming with vacation were fit into this song. This song is about not being afraid to speak up and be yourself. The song basically says, “Hey man, you’re saying a lot of crappy things about me and you’re saying I’m messed up, but I’m completely fine with who I am.” It’s a great song to jam to in your room.

“Jet Black Heart”

Favorite Lyric: See a war I wanna fight it/see a match I wanna strike it/every fire that I’ve ignited/faded to grey

This song was released early to people who preordered, and I have never related to a song more in my life. I felt so strongly about it, I even changed my tumblr URL to the lyrics, and I haven’t changed my URL in almost 2 years. This song shows the side of mental illness that affects all the relationships in your life. The illness is threatening to explode and ruin everything all the time, and you’re just trying to get your loved ones to understand. You make mistakes, whether from the illness or just because of you, but you’re trying your all to keep the relationships in your life stable.


“Catch Fire”

Favorite Lyric: Now I’m lost in the swirling sea/of your sorry eyes

This song to me seems like a song about unrequited love. But, the unrequited love is not unknown to the other person. The struggle is that the other person can’t do anything about the other person’s feelings, although the reason is unknown.


“Safety Pin”

Favorite Lyric: Raise a toast and a middle finger/cos they all think we’re twisted

This song is where the logo for the New Broken Scene comes from – a broken heart with a safety pin connecting the pieces. The song is about misfits, two people that are deemed “sick” and broken, who find each other.  They find comfort in the fact that they can understand each other, and despite the blows of the past, they are helping each other heal. It’s a very beautiful message.


“Waste The Night”

Favorite Lyric: The scratch in your voice/leaves me no choice/and I, won’t give up/and I, can’t give up

It’s a song about not wanting to miss your chance. Whether with a person, or just an event in general, you don’t want to waste one more night thinking “what if.” There’s a slight sense of fear in the song, mostly about things not going well because they usually don’t for you. This is a song I would blast in my car during a nighttime drive. It just has a vibe to it I can’t explain. There’s an unexpected instrumental at the end that makes the song even better as a whole.



Favorite Lyric: You make it sound so sweet/when you lie to me

I interpret this song as a relationship that’s coming to an end, all because one person was more invested than the other. There’s an addiction of sorts that happens when you’re that deep, where everything they do is perfect, and even though you can tell something is off, you just want them to keep lying. A nice lie is better than a harsh truth, or so you think. This song perfectly captures the emotions you feel when you’re struggling to hold on.


Favorite Lyric: Late night conversations/led to complications/now my heart is in my hands

This has a similar theme to “Vapor,” with a relationship ending and one person being more invested than the other. In this song, the relationship has ended, and you don’t know why. The other person up and left you, no explanation at all. You’re left alone to pick up the pieces and figure out what went wrong and why it had to end.


“The Girl Who Cried Wolf”

Favorite Lyric: Why does it have to be this tragedy, this endless lost/parade a castle of a façade of make believe

True to the old fairytale, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” this song has a similar plotline. The girl keeps saying their relationship is over but never means it, similar to the boy saying there is a wolf when there’s not. Because of the girl’s actions, the boy is confused about whether or not things are over and if there’s anyone there inside of her, as she seems more like a ghost than a real, emotional person. He’s tired of this treatment and just wants a clear answer once and for all.


“Broken Home”

Favorite Lyric: Hey mom hey dad when did this end/when did you lose your happiness/I’m here alone inside of this broken home

I’m grateful to have never had to feel anything like the contents of this song, but it sure did a good job of making me feel like I have. There is so much emotion in this song, and honestly I was not ready for it. I am so sorry to anyone who has ever felt like this or dealt with a situation like this, because it’s an awful thing to go through.


“Fly Away”

Favorite Lyric: Now I’m off to paradise/it’s your war I’ll never fight/say goodbye to pain and misery

This song talks about wanting something more than what you have now. Everything around you has become dull, and you’re done staying somewhere you’re unhappy. You want to keep moving and not let anything stop you as you go. Your heart wants more than where you are now offers. This song is very upbeat and is another song I want to jam to in my room as I pretend to play air guitar or air drums.



Favorite Lyric: Wasted days dreaming of the times I know I can’t get back/seems I just lost track/looking on as all of life’s colors seem to fade to grey/I just walked away

This was another song on this album I was completely not ready for. This song hit me so hard, and I just really connected with it. This song is sung completely by Calum, which to me makes it seem like there is a personal meaning to it for him. There is so much sadness in this song, feeling as if you’re fading away into nothingness bit by bit and no one is even noticing you. The ending of this song is just amazing, with the lyrics trailing off and the strings playing for a bit longer. I promise if you listen to this and listen to the lyrics, you will cry.


Favorite Lyrics: I won’t fade into dark/I’m not gonna say that I’m sorry/Gonna see the end of this story/I won’t fade into darkness

Once again, another song sang by a single member of the band, Michael (my love). This song is about how you’ve hated yourself and doubted yourself for forever, but now you’re finding your confidence. You won’t back down, and you won’t go back to your old ways. You speak up now, refusing to be quiet any longer. As an introvert dealing with mental illness, this song is lovely, and very relatable. Thank you, Michael.


“San Francisco”

Favorite Lyric: Drove into infinity/I held you till you fell asleep

Time passes, and then all that’s left are the memories. This song captures a romance connected to a certain place. You’ve both left, and you’re not over it, but there’s nothing you can do but think of that place fondly and reminisce. You would do anything to have it back, but you know that’s not possible. It’s a very romantic song about summer romance, and the song has a bittersweet tone. This song also has another surprise instrumental ending. To me, it has nothing to do with the song, but it still sounds amazing.

“Outer Space/Carry On”

Favorite Lyric: Nothing like the rain, nothing like the rain/when you’re in outer space when you’re in outer space and Say a prayer/for the broken bones/cos who cares/we’re all going home/and it won’t be long

Outer Space has a sound at the beginning verse that reminds me of twinkling stars, and I absolutely love it. This song talks about how someone was your everything, and now that things ended, you would give up everything for even the smallest something of them. You can’t let go of them no matter how much you want to. You just feel isolated, and everything feels worsened because they’re not here. Carry On is a beautiful song to end the album with. It’s a positive song that reinforces the fact that it’s not a lie that things get better. You just need to keep going, and you’re closer to things getting better than you think. The fact that the end of the album is the words “You know it’s gonna get better” is another great message of this album.


Overall: For an album called Sounds Good, Feels Good, I sure did cry a lot. A beautiful album, 10/10 would recommend. 


Image credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Madison is a Sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh and is majoring in Psychology. She enjoys drawing, music, pugs, and fro-yo.
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