One Direction officially released their fifth studio album on Friday, Nov. 13, and has received many positive reviews from both fans and critics. However, they announced shortly before that this album would be one that came without an international tour.
Since 2010, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson have been touring the world non-stop following each album release immediately after their departure from the UK’s “X Factor.” In between tours they’ve made appearances on many talk shows and at music events, released a number of music videos and even filmed the documentary “This is Us,” adding to their busy schedule.
“Made in the A.M.” is the first album without Zayn Malik, who departed from the band earlier this year due to his desire to “live a normal life.” Later, he announced signing to RCA Records, stirring rumors as to why he actually left the band.
In July, the boyband surprised fans with the single “Drag Me Down.” Shortly after its release, they revealed that they would be going on a hiatus in 2016 to pursue solo careers.
Leading up to the actual album release date, One Direction put out another single and two more as a promotional release (“Perfect,” “Infinity” and “What a Feeling”) and music videos for two out of the four songs as well. The week prior to making its debut, a few more songs were made available each day for those who pre-purchased the album or subscribed to Apple Music.
The sound of “Made in the A.M.” is similar to last year’s certified Platinum album, “Four,” which was a much more mellow vibe led by a soothing guitar, rather than the upbeat pure pop sound of their very first album “Up All Night.”
In recent years, One Direction has gone for more of a mature sound similar to the classic styles of Fleetwood Mac, the Verve and the Beatles. Quite a few songs on this album are reminiscent of popular hits from the aforementioned bands. Songs such as “Hey Angel,” “Temporary Fix,” “Olivia” and “What a Feeling” give off the vibe of old-school mellow rock sounds while “Drag Me Down” plays with reggae beats.
The second single, “Perfect,” released before the album, was accompanied by a music video. However, the song itself written by Styles, seems like an obvious response to Taylor Swift’s song “Style,” which was of course, penned for her short-lived relationship with Styles.
Each song has it’s own flavor, but it’s not until listening to the album a few times over that the distinction is easily recognizable, since most of the tracks have a heavy bass undertone that strings the album together.
The lyrics of each song do hold truth in every word, speaking of love, loss, sex and just having a good time. Much of the album was written by the band themselves, with only a few numbers without credit to their names.
Overall, the boyband has grown up musically and truly caters to audiences of all ages. With such positive feedback all around, it doesn’t seem like One Direction will be on this hiatus for long, but a break is just what they need after constantly being on-the-go and practically giving up their lives for the last five years.
Fans can only hope that this isn’t the last time they will collaborate, but the track record for boybands and their “breaks” haven’t always gone so well. If this is the final goodbye from the spotlight as a whole band, then this album can be received as the perfect way to end things.
At the end of the day, listening to the mellow sounds of One Direction’s “Made in the A.M.” album is seemingly turning out to be a crowd pleaser.