R5 are an American pop rock band, formed in 2009; made up of five members (four of them siblings). Having released numerous albums, toured across the world and had their own movie documentary made, their music is relatively unknown in the UK, especially their more recent releases.

Released on 12 May, New Addictions acts as the latest EP from the band. Arguably one of their best releases, they are taking a step away from their earlier recordings, that were undeniably pop centred, to produce a much more mature and unique sound. That being said there is still a catchy, ‘pop’ vibe that makes the tracks easy to enjoy.

‘If’ is the stand out track of the EP, with an upbeat tempo and memorable sound that caters for various music preferences. The vocals are smooth, with Ross Lynch’s distinctive voice at the forefront of the song, although arguably the vocals on ‘Red Velvet’ show more range and create a unique performance. ‘Red Velvet’ shows more musical experimentation than ‘If’, which fits the experimentation on the vocals as well, producing a polished track that holds its own against their previous releases.

‘Lay your Head Down’, the next track on the EP, is one for late night listening; combining smooth, easy listening with a catchy chorus creating a slower version of the R5 formula that has proved so successful for the band thus far. ‘Need You Tonight’ is a complete departure from the laid back melody of ‘Lay Your Head Down’, providing instead a dance track that feels like it should be a Club Classic already. ‘Trading Time’ is the final track on the EP and is definitely more ‘pop’ than ‘edge’; that isn’t necessarily a bad attribute however; it’s addictive and is guaranteed to get stuck in your head for days.

It’s safe to say, then, that New Addictions is, well, addictive (groan, I know) and even though it’s a departure from some of R5’s earlier material it is definitely heading in the right direction. The EP makes it clear that R5 have found their sound; whilst some of their earlier songs such as ‘F.E.E.L.G.O.O.D’ have a similar vibe, New Addictions takes the eclectic sound to a new level, leaving the listener wanting more.

Kathryn Cockrill



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