Casey O’Brien – Managing Editor
Love them or hate them, One Direction is here to stay. With two platinum albums, a movie grossing $60 million worldwide, a fragrance, and sold out concerts (Madison Square Garden sold out in ten minutes), Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson are the result of the best idea Simon Cowell ever had.
Put together during “The X Factor UK” in 2010, these five boys finished third in the competition and went on to conquer the world, becoming the first British group in the United States to hit #1 with their debut album, “Up All Night.” Capturing girls’ hearts everywhere with their accents and hit single “What Makes You Beautiful,” One Direction quickly became international superstars. Their second album, “Take Me Home,” was released in 2012, followed by a worldwide tour of the same name.
One Direction has completely changed the game with their third album release, “Midnight Memories.” This is definitely the sound the boys have been aiming for. It’s more mature and has a bit of an eighties rock feel. The main pop song on the album is the summer hit, “Best Song Ever.” The album boasts the most writing credits for the group out of all three albums, and it definitely shows. Most of these songs wouldn’t have been believable on their debut album, when they were all under the age of 20.
“Through the Dark” is perhaps one of the more surprising songs on the album, with a sound that could be described as almost Mumford and Sons-esque. It is a beautiful love song that resonates with you even after listening with lyrics such as, “Oh I will carry you over fire and water for your love / And I will hold you closer, hope your heart is strong enough / When the night is coming down on you / We will find a way through the dark.” Someone unfamiliar with One Direction would most likely be duped when listening to the song, never realizing who was singing it. “Happily” follows along the lines of “Through the Dark,” and is definitely going to be a fan favorite on the set list for their “Where We Are” tour.
“Midnight Memories,” the title track on the album is easily the weakest song in the track listing, mainly because of its basic lyrics and screaming noises from Styles; it’s reminiscent of Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”
The most upbeat songs to blast at top volume are “Alive,” “Little Black Dress,” “Little White Lies,” and “Does He Know?” None are particularly deep songs but “Alive” is a great anthem with insight into a 20-year-old boy’s mind.
“Half a Heart,” “Story of My Life,” and “You & I” are a chance for the boys to show off their vocals, especially Malik, who hits the high notes effortlessly, and is constantly expanding his range. One Direction fans will also be pleased to hear both Horan and Tomlinson have been granted more solos on this album.
“Midnight Memories” is One Direction’s best album to date and is already number one on iTunes. From being thrown together three years ago, these five boys have come a long way to the top, and this album will prove they belong there.