One Direction proves the band can create more than the basic pop album with experimental tracks.
After Zayn Malik’s sudden departure from One Direction in March, skeptics doubted the band’s ability to bounce back. Arguably, Malik was the strongest singer of the boy band, and his absence was felt by the entire fan base during the rest of the On the Road Again tour.
The remaining four rallied together to continue the tour and the rest of their fifth album. Fans had these boys’ backs and continued their undying support for the British pop stars. It was also announced that Made In The A.M. would be the boy band’s last album as they take a hiatus after its release.
In July, One Direction released its first single as a four-member group, “Drag Me Down.” This song was a huge reassurance to fans, and became one of the band’s biggest successes. This song is powerful, with strong harmonies and a fast tempo. This became the anthem of the fan base for the rest of the summer, and everyone lost it during Harry Styles’ solo.
Another single was “Perfect,” which shows the boy band still knows how to make a pop single. The song is what one typically expects from One Direction — fun, shiny pop music that makes everyone want to sing along. Some say it sounds similar to Taylor Swift’s “Style,” which is supposed to be inspired by Styles himself. Regardless if it’s a jab from the ex-girlfriend or not, the song showcases just how “perfect” One Direction is.
“Infinity” is the first ballad on Made In The A.M. and sets the tone for the rest of album with a cooler sound. “End of the Day” brings in the folk-rock sound that they’ve been known to experiment with on previous albums. This song shares a powerful message of loving whoever you love no matter what.
The most emotional tracks on the album are “If I Could Fly” and “Love You Goodbye.” Both songs are written by members of the band, and show the singers’ passion within their voices. “If I Could Fly,” co-written by Styles, speaks on loving someone so much that they know all of you, and being willing to share everything, even the bad. “Love You Goodbye,” co-written by Louis Tomlinson, is about a relationship coming to an end, and the need to see each other one more time before cutting ties. These songs showcase the writing ability of Styles and Tomlinson, and show a more vulnerable side that has been missing on previous albums.
“Never Enough” is a different song for the band, but brings out a fun side to the album. The background noises sound similar to a song from The Lion King, and the end of the chorus is pushed by a funky guitar riff. This track brings out an unexpected sound from the band that could be compared to the ‘70s rock that has inspired so much of the album. “Olivia” is another step out from the band. The track sounds as if it’s influenced by The Beatles through its lyrics, and the chorus seemed to be taken straight from “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
“What A Feeling” brings back the ‘70s inspiration and sounds as if it belongs on a Fleetwood Mac album. This track shows the development of One Direction as a band and the versatility. “Temporary Fix” is the new “No Control” for One Direction. It’s another raunchy, rock-pop song about a hook-up covered up by their boy band image. The chorus holds a strong sense of rock with pounding drums and similarities to the band’s cover of “One Way or Another.”
“History” and “A.M.” seem to be the “thank you to our fans” tracks. “History” explores One Direction’s evolution as a band, and how fans have always been there to support them. Despite the rumors, and complications as a band, the fans have stuck by them and the band hopes they will continue to do so to make more memories together.
“A.M.” is the perfect song to be One Direction’s last before its hiatus. This track focuses on the boys’ voices and is another slower song. “You know I’m always coming back to this place,” is sung, which one can only hope means returning together as a band. Knowing that this is the last song for awhile makes it incredibly emotional, and the band leaves the listener with the question “Won’t you stay ‘til the A.M.?”
One Direction has been a powerhouse in the music industry for the past five years, and has been constantly on the go. The members’ influence on pop music is undeniable and they’ve been able to overcome any hurdle put in their way. It’s sad to know this album will be the last music from the boy band for now, but one can only hope they’ll return to the stage soon enough. Made In The A.M. shows the band’s improvement as a group, and the four members’ versatility. One Direction definitely ended on the highest note of its career.