Thousands of teen hearts were warmed last month when One Direction’s new album Made in the A.M. was released – mine as well, although I can’t call myself a teenager anymore. Their fifth studio album is the first without Zayn Malik, who left the group earlier this year and gave an interview to the magazine Fader, stating that he wasn’t standing behind the ‘generic’ sound.
Harsh words from someone who was part of a band for four years. I get that many people aren’t the biggest fan of pop music, especially when it’s by a boy band, but it was good enough for him to make millions of money with it before dropping out before opening up about it. I personally think that the new album doesn’t miss his voice at all. I’m sure that after listening to it, he will regret his decision because I can confirm that the album completely fulfilled my expectations and even more, surpassed them. In comparison to their last album Four, the album contains less ‘generic’ pop ballads and when there were only a few songs getting stuck in the end at the end of listening to an 1D album, that definitely changed this time. Nearly every sounds different, distinctive with catchy hooks and mind sticking melodies. Because of the variety of songs, even after listening to the album the 3rd time (or the 15th time as I did), you don’t get tired of it, rather it is getting better and better. I have to be honest that I can’t even pick my favorite song, whether it’s the uplifting “Olivia” (to all the Olivias out there in the world: count yourself lucky), the funky, jazz influenced “Never Enough”, the typical boy band song “End of the Day” or the cute “Walking in the Wind”, which make the deluxe version worth buying (yes, I bought the deluxe because duh, 4 more songs!), they are all potential number one singles.
I know that a lot of people don’t consider 1D proper musicians, but that would be just degrading and insulting as nearly every song was co-written by at least one of them, so props for that! The four of them definitely developed musically, as the album sounds more grown up and made a massive step in the right direction to making their own distinctive music which is not only suitable for teenagers, but can be taken seriously in wider the music industry. I really hope for all of them that in 2016, when the band is taking a break (*sob*), they can achieve success as solo artists as well and maybe get rid of the teen idol stigma. On the other hand, hopefully they’re not going to condemn One Direction afterwards in interviews as generic.
I can recommend everyone who can appreciate mainstream pop music to listen to Made in the A.M., as none of their albums has been as good or as experimental before. They’re four cute boys, singing about stuff that every girl wants to hear.
Review by Carolin Wolfsdorf