“When Facing the Things We Turn Away From” – A Review


Lauren Sanders, Staff Writer

In just a few weeks North Dakota is going to start the long, treacherous months of being able to see your breath when you breathe. On the bright side it’s also the time for being wrapped in cozy blankets and hot chocolate, and of course music that will fill you with comfort. This month’s album review will focus on a record that is perfect for those short-lived days and dreary nights.

On August 13th 2021 Luke Hemmings, the lead singer of the Australian band 5 Seconds Of Summer released his solo album When Facing The Things “We Turn Away From”. Every track is an explosion of sound and emotion with a select number of songs that a mellow-calming sound to it. It comes from the mind of Luke who got famous at a young age. Tracks on this album explore how being in the spotlight at such an impressionable time impacted his memories and mind.

The album was made in the midst of the pandemic as the world was shut away and limited creative freedom, as for Luke he had to face the things that he once tried to shut away hence the album name “When Facing The Things We Turn Away From.” The first single off the album” Starting Line” released June 30th 2021 really gives the listener an idea on how the rest of the album will sound and the lyrical direction of most of the other tracks. Following the release of “Starting line” the next single “Motion” came out, with the same struggle as “Starting line” Luke is trying to figure out which memories are real and which ones he made up.

To contextualize the sound, it should be noted that this album and Harry Styles’ latest album “Harry’s House” share a producer: Samuel Witte. He produced all of the songs on Luke’s album and produced a song on “Harry’s House” which is “Cinema.” Samuel’s sound also influenced “Satellite” even though we wasn’t the producer, it has a specific sound to it that some of Luke’s album also have. Starting off slow and then boom. Suddenly you are just hit in the face with sound.

Track 7 titled “Mum” is the real showstopper of the album, with heartbreaking lyrics and an insane crescendo after the last verse is really what takes the album home even though it’s only halfway through the track list. Luke really likes to make everyone who is listening super emotional, the next two songs “Slip Away” and “Diamonds” have just as heart wrenching lyrics as “Mum” but in a less intense way.

As amazing as this album is there is one song that is not as great as the rest and that would be track ten “A Beautiful Dream.” It’s a very audio tuned song, and honestly if it didn’t have that much audio tune it would be a much better song. Lyrical quality is still wonderful but for a 3-minute song it drags out too much especially since it’s not that easy to hear what he’s saying.

Closing off the album we have “Comedown” and wow, this song feels like a beam of sunlight after a powerful thunderstorm, which is exactly what this album is; a powerful thunderstorm of emotions. The song is about finally finding peace within yourself and with the people around you and is the perfect closer to the album.

If you were to take away anything from this review it would be to grab some tissues before listening to “When Facing The Things We Turn Away From” and if you were to listen to any of these songs I recommend either “Mum” or “Diamonds” for your North Dakota cold weather album fix.