Catch 22 is the eighteenth track on 5 Seconds of Summer’s second studio album “Sounds Good Feels Good”, featured on the band’s Target released album. Not many fans know this track as well as others do, due to the fact that it is a Target released song and the store is only available in the US.
Co-written by Calum Hood, Michael Clifford, Michael Joseph Green, and Cristi Vaughan, the song talks about a struggling relationship and the reason why it’s going down in crumbles.
So do you know what the real meaning behind Catch 22 is? Read on to find out a verse by verse break down on the song’s true meaning.
Wasted, I play the same part where I’m chasing your sick little heart, ’til I’m jaded and lying on the floor. Faded, I’m wrapped in your arms while you’re waiting to tear me apart. With a last kiss, you leave me wanting more.
This verse implies that the female of the relationship never gives the male a second glance and treats him poorly. He keeps crawling back to her because of how much he loves her, but he slowly can’t take it anymore. He’s decided to take part in a sick game of being the puppet to her puppet master, because since he loves her he’d do just about anything for her until she agrees to be his.
He’s exhausted from playing all of these games, so he sits in her arms and waits for her to tear him apart and with one final kiss, she leaves him behind but leaves him wanting more than just a kiss.
You, you’re a catch 22; win or lose, I’m screwed. I’m trapped under your spell; it saves me, breaks me ’til I fall back to you. You’re a catch 22 (x2).
The definition of a “catch 22” is a difficult situation where there is no escaping it due to a mutual conflict or dependent conditions. In other words, one situation cannot be solved without the other situation – guy needs girl, girl needs guy.
In this case, he is comparing her to being a catch 22 where their relationship is basically an unsolvable mess. Both of them want happiness, but they’ll never obtain that due to the relationship not being quite at ease.
Restless, I stay awake with the spaces. The thought of our hands interlacing, it’s taking over me. Reckless, I’m at your front door and I’m helpless, I’m twisted back up in the madness repeating history. Promise me, you’ll never let me leave.
At the thought of all of their problems, it keeps him awake at night. He feels like they’re breaking apart; like they’re disconnected somehow – the connection just simply isn’t there. He compares holding hands as a way of their problems being solved. Like two hands being intertwined, they become one; so he presumes if they become one unit they could solve their problems together.
He decides that enough was enough and takes action to solve their problems. He realizes that their history was repeating itself by going back to her and then later leaving her, hoping to continue things at a later time.
Damned if I do, damned if I don’t; let me go, I’m better off alone, and here we go again.
This is a situation where the male is conflicted – does he leave the girl behind or does he stay and try to work things out, knowing full well they might not get where they want to be. He loves her, so leaving her wouldn’t be best for him but at the same time, there’s so much conflict and friction within the relationship, that maybe leaving her behind is best for both him and her.
He realizes and understands that he may not ever let her go, and even though they’re just going around in circles fighting, he still wants to be with her; he still wants their relationship to work.
Overall, this song is about the conflict within a relationship between a guy and a girl and how the journey to solving their problems is pretty much going nowhere. They keep coming back to each other and leaving each other, solving nothing and only putting more questions into each of their heads.
They love each other, but they’re unsure if it’s best for them to stay together and work things out, or to go their separate ways and see other people.