Thursday, 12 November 2015

One Direction - Made In The A.M. Track-By-Track Album Review

Being a long term Directioner definitely makes me more critical whenever One Direction release anything new. I was skeptical and unsure about 'Made In The A.M.' right from the beginning, struggling to imagine a 1D record without Zayn, as he was without a doubt the strongest vocally in the group. I've had this CD for a about a week now and have been re-listening day after day, each time my opinion differing slightly. I don't hate it, but I'm not sure if I love it either. 

Hey Angel - A repetitive, slightly underwhelming start to the CD, both vocally and lyrically. I can hear it being sung by - and more suited for - a band like Coldplay.

Drag Me Down - I still enjoy this song as much as the first time I heard it. One of the album's strongest songs and a very smart first single choice despite not belonging among the majority of other tracks on the record.

Perfect - I'm not entirely sold on this unconventional love song but it's progressively growing on me. Easily not the boys' strongest single release and far from the likes of 'You & I' or 'Story Of My Life', but is charming and catchy nonetheless.

Infinity - I didn't like this song the first time round, and I still don't like it now. The beat drop is unnecessary and out of place, much like the song itself on this CD. Like Drag Me Down, it has a far too modern vibe next to the other tracks and should have been swapped out for 'Home' from the 'Perfect' EP.

End Of The Day - What starts as a fast-paced track noticeably slows down each time the chorus rolls around, before speeding up once again each verse, appearing as though rhythms from two different songs have been put together. It's initially confusing and irritating, but seems to bother me less each listen. All I know at the end of the day, is I don't dislike it.

If I Could Fly - Zayn is noticeably missing from the record's best ballad, but the boys pull it off faultlessly. If you're ever in doubt of the boys vocal talents, this highlights them all beautifully - Louis in particular, the chorus harmonies being an album stand-out. I can't fault anything here, it's destined to be a crowd favourite.

Long Way Down - Not quite as impressive as the previous track, the vocals are flat but not entirely uninspired; it's halfway there.

Never Enough - A lively, fun track with an unexpectedly catchy hook and backing tune - I'm obsessed. The beat and lyrics very clever, easy to pick up and sing along to, definitely one of my favourites.

Olivia - There's an unmistakable and familiar Beetles' 'All You Need Is Love' sound on this track, which is just as undeniably charming as the original. The orchestra backing undoubtedly makes the song, although the third verse lyrics sound influenced by 'Pure Imagination' from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

What A Feeling - A laid back, relaxed track that's much less commercially poppy than we're used to hearing the boys, but works wonderfully with their voices. The 'Fireproof' of the CD, but better. There's a familiarity I can't quite put my finger on, but I love the vibe.

Love You Goodbye - A ballad about break up sex, how lovely. Their vocal delivery is far too serious for a subject matter like sexual frustration, I still giggle when listening. Omit the chorus and replace it with something as equally emotive as the verses and this would've been a fantastically performed ballad, but the beauty in this track is almost entirely wasted on the line 'won't you let me give it you one last time.'

I Want To Write You A Song - This acoustic-style love song falls short lyrically and vocally, especially when compared to songs in the same genre from artists such as Ed Sheeran or Cody Simpson. I can see what they were trying to do here, but it doesn't hit the mark.

History - There's nothing exceptionally special here. It's not a bad song, but it lacks the powerful delivery, vocally and instrumentally, that the lyrics deserve.

Temporary Fix - YES YES YES. This is more of what I was expecting to hear on the album - it's upbeat, modern, and has 'boy band' written all over it - This is fun type of track I originally fell for One Direction hearing and takes me back to the early days. My only minor fault is that the song ends too soon, which in itself is a praise.

Walking In The Wind - The best way I can describe this song is that it mimics all the characteristics of a 'filler' track; nothing impressive or exciting, but pleasant. The lyrics in particular are very uninspired.

Wolves - Where have I heard this beat and sound before? I'm not sure but it's familiarly enchanting. I really enjoy the up-tempo, feel good vibe of the song and is one of the stronger album tracks.

A.M - As the title song of the album, I feel quite underwhelmed. I don't feel it's worthy of naming the CD after and is unimpressive after hearing the other songs, although brings together the album to a close nicely.

As individual tracks, the boys prove their strength and versatility, however packaged together as an album they appear mismatched and confusing. This record will definitely separate young fans from the mix as it's a stretch from the typical boy band CD we're used to hearing from the boys. It's taking time for me to get used adapt to their new sound, which isn't as tragic as I initially felt. I think the problem is the mixture of styles they've trialed which doesn't allow the album to run through smoothly. The loss of Zayn's vocals is evident, though I'm not as disappointed with the album I expected to be.

Overall I do like Made In The A.M., although it undoubtedly falls short next to 1D's previous albums, and will be easily forgotten next to the the other impressive album releases from this year.

'Made In The A.M.' is available on iTunes and in stores November 13

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