Superbloom album review
Ashton Irwin, known for his work as the drummer in Australian pop-punk turned pop-rock band 5 Seconds of Summer, recently released an album of his own, Superbloom. Irwin’s vocals were often left behind in the band, especially while performing, because of the difficulty of drumming and singing simultaneously. Superbloom offers an insight into Irwin’s individual musical style, quite different from when it’s combined with his three other bandmates. I’ve ranked every song in descending order by how likely I am to listen to it, taking into consideration style, lyricism, and overall musicality. Because Irwin’s solo music is such a personal work I also included a standout lyric from each song.
#1:Matter of Time(Interlude)
Matter of Time is soft, calm, and reassuring. I play this song on repeat for motivation, focus, or just a smile. It has a lullaby-like feeling which screams nostalgia. There is also a slow decrescendo at the end of the piece, making the song that much more enjoyable. Overall, this song radiates happiness and is therefore the best on the album.
Standout Lyric: “Dive into the ocean and you’ll never drown”
Immediately after pressing play, Irwin takes the listener into a post-apocalyptic world in Drive. Despite the eeriness of the unknown, the song overall is extremely tranquil. The assuring and comforting lyrics feel like someone is holding your hand through whatever extremity has occurred.
Standout Lyric: “The future's not so clear, I’ll help you see”
I love listening to Sunshine. Similar to Matter of Time, Sunshine is very chill and calm. There are quite a few relaxing vocal echoes throughout which remind me of a Disney song.
Standout Lyric: “You’ve been feeding me lies now it’s all that I know”
#4: Skinny Skinny
This song almost gives off singer-songwriter vibes. However, due to Irwin’s musical experience, it seems to be almost elevated. The lyrics are powerful and relatable and revolve around struggles with body dysmorphia.
Standout Lyric: “My second face, don’t wanna listen. We always meet without permission.”
#5: Have U Found What Ur Looking For?
Have U Found What Ur Looking For is like a hybrid of 80’s and 90’s rock and pop-punk music. The actual music reminds me of a song from the ’80s while the vocals are Green Day esque.
Standout Lyric: “Headaches beat me down to a lifeless stare”
Superbloom is an incredibly musically intricate album. While there are only a couple of songs, like Matter of Time and Skinny Skinny, that I will be adding to my playlists, Superbloom is a unique sound experience that I recommend everyone listen to.
In Scar Irwin discusses his family. This song seems to be a reflection of his childhood and his desire to become a better person. There is an overall theme of growth that is echoed throughout the piece.
Standout Lyric: “It’s a painful thing to try, grit your teeth another time.”
#7: The Sweetness
The Sweetness has a classic rock opening that I would expect to hear when in the car with my parents. Irwin continues with falsettos that remind me of In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins. It’s definitely different from other songs on the album but I’m not sure if that is a positive aspect. The soft echoey background does help but the Halloween vibes that the minor chords of the chorus have to cancel it out.
Standout Lyric: “When the sweetness seeps into your bloodstream”
Greyhound opens with a very heavy progressive rock sound. I can hear a classic rock influence throughout the song. The sound seems dry but in the best way possible, like Coachella. The background vocals heard in the chorus are almost fear-producing but continue to add to the powerfulness that this piece holds.
Standout Lyric: “Keep on trying to move forwards, I never wanna go back”
#9: I’m to Blame
As the name suggests, I’m to Blame is Irwin blaming himself while reflecting on a relationship gone wrong. It starts out with bold, loud music which fades into super soft verses. The calm, almost hushed nature of Irwin's vocals highlights his lyrical vulnerability in the song.
Standout Lyric: “Two birds on a wire. They don’t know that they’ll catch fire”
#10: Perfect Lie
Perfect lie is an okay song but it’s a bit too intense for me. The beginning emits competitive energy like a race has started. Then as the song progresses I could imagine it being played as the background music to a fight scene. It’s overall futuristic and pretty creepy.
Standout Lyric: “Hand shakes on a highway that takes us straight to the grave”
Overall, Superbloom is an incredibly musically intricate album. I was surprised by how many of these songs seem like they would have my parents' full approval. While there are only a couple, like Matter of Time and Skinny Skinny, that I will be adding to my playlists, Superbloom is a unique sound experience that I recommend everyone listen to. Maybe you’ll even find what you were looking for.