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Album Review: One Direction – Midnight Memories

3 min read

The world’s biggest boy band One Direction is back with their new album Midnight Memories. It’s only been a year since their last album Take Me Home, and one has to wonder when they had time to write and record this huge album offering 18 tracks. With their 2013 tour coming to a close, the boys will barely have time to make themselves a cup of tea, with their 2014 tour to promote Midnight Memories beginning soon. The hype for this album from ‘Directioners’ was astonishing, and Harry, Liam, Niall, Louis and Zayn hosted a 7 hour long 1D Day live stream on November 24th to get fans even more pumped (if this were possible) for the release of their third album. With this overwhelming hype and the massive success the boys have already achieved, is it possible for Midnight Memories to live up to everybody’s expectations?

One Direction Midnight MemoriesThe first two tracks on the album, Best Song Ever and Story of My Life, define Midnight Memories. Story of My Life is a little more mature than One Direction’s previous songs and showcases the boys vocals, whereas Best Song Ever is a catchy, generic pop song with cliche lyrics. All the tracks on Midnight Memories generally fall into one of these two categories: genius pop hits or generic and cliche tracks.

Two of the highlights on the album are You and I and Half a Heart; think of these as the new Little Things. These songs prove that the boys are vocally and harmonically at their best when singing ballads. Both tracks have great poignant lyrics without being predictable, and the boys all invest the right amount of emotion. Other songs Strong and Through The Dark also have terrific lyrics, but are lacking in other areas. Strong will most likely be the band’s next hit and is very likeable and catchy, but the melody is extremely generic which can make the song forgettable and bland. Through The Dark might have been better as a ballad, as the tune  reminds you of various other pop songs and therefore doesn’t stand on its own well.

Midnight Memories is filled with songs about either love or, surprisingly, sex. The love element was to be expected, however with so many love songs, you wonder what’s left to write about. As for the theme of sex, some parents have already expressed their outrage. But hey, the guys are in their 20s, so what did people expect? Some of the songs involving obvious sexual references are Why Don’t We Go There and Alive, however more subtle references can be found throughout the album. With most of the songs about these topics, to get away from them brings a breath of fresh air. Don’t Forget Where You Belong is a more original catchy pop song, filled with heartfelt lyrics about how the boys are always away from their homes.

Better Than Words has ingenious lyrics where the verses are made up of song titles. However, whilst this is clever, the song as a whole fails to engage the listener. This can be found with a few songs on the album, which I labelled as ‘meh’ songs, because they just don’t allow the audience to become involved in the song and they don’t make the listener want to listen or sing a long to them. This is partly because of their generic bland-ness. Little White Lies gets to the point where the chorus actually sounds like another song (I SWEAR it’s like Bluejuice’s Broken Leg).

Overall I feel that Midnight Memories is a mixed bag. There are some great pop hits littered throughout the album, but if you’re not a die hard fan, I would advise that you seek out these gems rather than blindly listen with high hopes that will dwindle.