Video Review: 5 Seconds of Summer “Want You Back”

Drums lit in lavender, Ashton taps the pedal as he starts to play. Lit in a rusted orange, Michael puts on his guitar strap. Lit in cobalt blue, Luke sits on a chair in a tiny family room at a jagged angle. Luke leans against the wall and then stands back up. With a rusted orange lamp and a large hanging lightbulb, Michael stands against the wall.

Tilted to the left, Luke walks backwards in the room. Lit in money green and tilted backwards, Ashton plays the drums on the ceiling. Calum plays his guitar as he walks on the right side of the wall. Luke walks to the other side of the room, tilted at an asymmetrical angle. As Calum’s magenta hued square tilts, a rose flashes over it.

Two faces form over Ashton and Michael’s squares, both of which are next to each other. Luke’s face forms over his and Michael’s squares. Calum and Michael play on the right and left sides of their walls, respectively.

Luke plays the piano.

All four squares roll along as they each continue to play. Lyrics are written on Ashton and Luke’s squares.

Ashton’s square rotates.

In the sequence of four squares, each member’s face is over their own as they play. Calum holds up his guitar. Luke touches his face and walks away.

Rating: 3.5/5

Multiple viewings and pauses are necessary to see the subtle details inserted inside each square. The jagged angles and sparse neon is the first layer of design. Every band member is lit in silhouette, except for Luke and everyone is separated in their own confining square. A depressed, self-inflicted solitude hangs over every square.  Each band member seems to be living in low rent apartment in the city, struggling to get by. Luke, again, is the exception.

The second layer, though, can be missed. Over multiple squares, the Michael and Ashton’s grade-school pictures flash which match the color scheme. Sometimes only an edge of Ashton’s square fuzzes and cuts outs. Calum and Luke’s silhouettes face the same direction. Lyrics are written in faint neon on only half the squares.

Luke, dressed in a white dress shirt and pants, seems to have come home from his office job, where he’s a project manager and dwells on his shattered personal life. On the surface, he has it altogether. However, he broods as he sits in his family room, thinking of how he took his ex-girlfriend for granted and chose his job over her. With unkempt hair and stubble on his chin, he no longer wants to be the goofy guy. His delicate eyes and stirring expressions take hold. He’s no longer the lazy guy playing pranks in the office. With a stunning force, Luke breaks out, growing into a pained young man who questions what he lost.


Director: N/A Year: 2018

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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