The secret to never growing out of the boyband phase

A photo of the two band members Ross and Rocky Lynch on their album cover X

I spent 170,582 minutes listening to Spotify throughout the year 2022.  Needless to say, I am an avid Spotify premium user. Music is always on:

  • in my car
  •  while I am asleep, 
  • while I am eating,
  • while I am doing homework.

My artist of choice: The Driver Era. First off, Ross Lynch, an absolute babe, who I watched on the Disney Channel show “Austin and Ally,” is probably one of the reasons I have never grown out of my boyband phase.


Before rebranding as The Driver Era, this band originally established themselves as R5 when they debuted on Disney Channel. Nevertheless, their creative means were limited to what they could release because of Disney’s strict guidelines. R5 consisted of the five Lynch siblings each whose name all had the first initials of their name being R. The band deliberately chose the name R5 to symbolize a connection to each of the band members.


Ross Lynch, one of the five R5 members was on the Disney Channel show Austin and Ally, and starred in the Disney Channel original movie Teen Beach movie. On Disney, Lynch had lead roles, where he displayed his singing talent but was limited to the Disney sound. R5 soon grew up and wanted out of the Disney light.


Years later out of the ashes of R5, The Driver Era was born, consisting of two out of the five original band members with Lynch on lead vocals and Rocky Lynch on background vocals as well as both brother’s songwriting. 


The album X is the debut album of The Driver Era,  a 10-song record that delivers a mix of soul, funk, and pop with a strong rock undertone, but this band cannot be narrowed into one genre. Every song within the album shares a story that includes different highs and lows created by the rhythm of the vocals and instruments.


I experience chills – absolute chills whenever I listen to this band. Although this band may not be contained in one specific genre, I cannot listen to this band without the biggest smile on my face. The album “X” has an almost angelic-like sound that I could play on repeat for hours and no surprise I do.


An album that never forgets to remind me of summer: feeling the sun beating down on me, the smell of sunscreen, and the wind blowing on my face as I drive. The feeling of euphoria comes over me as the windows are down and the music is all the way up. 


 Track 1, Welcome to the End of your life, what a song title. The opening of this song is slow presenting a very melodramatic, and morbid tone left to represent what it would be like if they got to the end of their lives.


Introducing the opening lyrics of the song, we have:  “Welcome to the end of your life, yeah: Never thought you’d see the white light, yeah: You probably shouldn’t run the red light, yeah” 


As dark as it gets, this song displays a rather positive message. Learning to take your own path, make your own decisions, and not let anyone stop you from what you wanna do is brought to life by the instruments used within the piece. The guitar and echo of Lynch’s voice bring to life an almost angle overlooking a person pushing you to not give up.


 Track 10, Preacher Man is upbeat, alive, and energetic. A very contrasting sound from the opening to the closing of an album.


Despite its name, this is not a religious song by any stretch of the imagination. The song addresses the questions, “What am I doing with my life?” “How am I treating those around me?” 


 The first few lyrics of the song begin calling out to the person, whoever is watching over him, “Hey, Mr.Preacher Man,” followed by “Can you help me get away from this life of sin?” 

 Furthermore, “I’m ashamed of the dark places I have been. “Fix my Soul so I don’t lose a love again”


“Preacher Man” is a song about the life of sin, and the prayer and “preach” to get out of this life, go onto something new and better and learn from the mistakes of the past. 


As a listener I connect with the message that the artists are displaying, as we grow we make mistakes and we learn from them. This highlights the significance of reflection which Ross and Rocky Lynch demonstrate within self-examination. 


Everything about “X” separates the band from their premature days of “R5.” R5 would never touch on the darker and more mature themes that this album addresses. 


“X” is full of messages, lessons, and amazing vocals and instrumentals that allow the audience to become one with the song. “X’ is the perfect playlist for, heartbreak, summer night jams, or screaming at the top of your lungs with friends. The Driver Era album “X” is #1 on my Spotify stats app (yes, I have a stats app). I’m self-aware that a good chunk of my Spotify minutes is devoted to me pretending to be as good of a singer as Ross Lynch.