One Direction have come a long way since they came third on X Factor UK in 2011. They’ve matured as artists, their individual vocals have improved and their group harmonies are becoming stronger. Recently their songs have been improving and appealing to a wider audience with their infectious hooks and lyrical content. ‘Midnight Memories’ is the group’s third studio album and I really wanted to like it but I was quite disappointed. This album is completely different to anything One Direction have done before. The group have ditched the bubblegum pop sound and have gone towards a rock and folk influenced sound. It’s a very mature sound that isn’t going to resonate well with their younger fan base. The songs aren’t as infectious or automatically likeable as on past albums but they do gradually grow on you. Lyrically the content addresses the relationships they’ve had over the past year. They also address their fame in a few songs like ‘Midnight Memories’ with this opening line, “Straight out of the plane to a new hotel. Just touched down, you could never tell”.
They’ve taken on rock influences in the majority of their songs with ‘Little Black Dress’ and ‘Midnight Memories’ being the heaviest tracks which almost sound like they would’ve suited in the 80’s glam rock era. These songs are a lot more edgier and show a different, naughtier side to them. They aren’t technically the best songs on the album but they are interesting and show the band evolving. They’ve also taken on folk influences with ‘Through The Dark’, ‘You And I’, ‘Something Great’ being the best representations of this. This sound really suits the band with some of the songs sounding like they’ve come straight off a Ed Sheeran record. The songs that are closest to the typical boy band style are ‘Don’t Forget Where You Belong’, ‘Happily’, ‘Strong’ and ‘Why Don’t We Go There’. Louis, Niall and Zayn have received a lot more solos throughout the album with the focus slightly getting taken off Harry which is about time. Each member has their time to shine, showing off their unique vocal range.
‘Midnight Memories’ doesn’t feel like a One Direction album, it’s not as fun or cheeky however there are lot more edgier lyrics and expletives that have been blurred out. There are lot more filler tracks on the album which are honestly boring and nothing special. I was expecting a huge album from them with the singles ‘Best Song Ever’ and ‘Story Of My Life’ being big hits for the group but the new tracks just didn’t go anywhere and take you on a journey. Highlights from ‘Midnight Memories’ include; ‘Don’t Forget Where You Belong’, ‘Little White Lies’, ‘Happily’, ‘Strong’, ‘Half A Heart’ and ‘Why Don’t We Go There’. The fans are going to say they love it no matter what, but make up your mind for yourself. It’s different, that’s for sure.
Check out my review on One Directions recent show in Brisbane on their ‘Take Me Home World Tour’ http://thomasbleach.com/2013/10/23/live-review-one-direction-brisbane-entertainment-centre/