[ALBUM REVIEW] One Direction’s ‘Midnight Memories’ – More Rock n’ Roll and Even More British Charm

One_Direction_Midnight_Memories_(Official_Album_Cover)“True Directioners will wait until the album actually comes out to listen to it…” Puhhh-LEASE. If One Direction fans were even a quarter of the fangirl I was, they would all know that waiting is not an option. In the age of albums and singles being “leaked” right and left, it is hard to believe that record labels have nothing to do with these “unintentional” releases. If anything, the hype and previews of the album will only benefit physical album sales and downloads… not that worldwide British boy band phenomena, One Direction, needs the boost.

Album Highlights:
1. Better solo distribution between the members – i.e. MORE Louis and Zayn solos!
2. Exploration of different musical styles, but still sticking to their signature power-pop sound! (The classic rock and Americana/folk-y vibes are real!)
3. The guys show us so much more vocal range – higher and lower notes from everyone shows they are growing as singers, yay!

(I trust that my internet-savvy peers will be able to find audio via the world wide web somewhere… AND JUST TO BE CLEAR, in NO WAY am I encouraging people to illegally download music! This is coming from someone who still purchases CDs, vinyl, AND cassettes… yes, this is true, cassettes.)

Here’s my initial rundown of each track:

Best Song Ever – For anyone that was ever confused, the guys are singing ABOUT the best song ever and are not claiming that this is the “best song ever” – everyone has had a “OMG this is the best song ever” moment and this tune is a great narrative of that!

Story of my Life – Phillip Phillips/Mumford & Sons-esque folk-y melodies and one of the most adorable music videos!

Diana – Just pretend your name is “Diana” and you will be grinning from ear to ear by the time the chorus comes around.

Midnight Memories – ACDC-inspired guitars, a classic rock beat, and the grit in Louis’ tone totes made this song so much edgier. Rock horns are a must for this gem.

You and I – Reminds of my other favorite classic 1D slow jams: “More Than This” and “Last First Kiss.” Can we also talk about Zayn’s uber impressive high note?!

Don’t Forget Where You Belong – In the words of Doge: “very nostalgia.” This would have been a perfect song for the ending credits in “This Is Us.”

Strong – Currently one of my fave songs on the album! Endearing lyrics, catchy melody, the guys singing in their lower registers – what is there to not like?

Happily – The Americana/folk influence is clear here – acoustic guitars, foot-stomping, clapping, background “heys,” and a booming chorus.

Right Now – A well-written pop love song that totally reminds me of Ryan Tedder/One Republic’s melodic and writing style.

Little Black Dress – 1D is channeling so much old-school rock n’ roll here (complete with popular 70s-style song fade out), plus an added dash of the JoBros-vibe!

Through The Dark – I wouldn’t be surprised if they were influeced by “Home” and “Gone, Gone, Gone” by Phillip Phillips with this one.

Something Great – More of any album filler, but who knows, maybe it will grow on me overtime (like every other 1D song, let’s be real).

Little White Lies – This is the epitome of a boy band song – reminiscent of the overall feel of their first record, “Up All Night.” “Tell Me a Lie” is still my jam and I probs prefer it over LWL if I had to choose, but I still love this! I wonder if this is about TSwift?…

Better Than Words – Pop, with a little r&b influence in their singing style – reminds me of Jesse McCartney!

Why Don’t We Go There – Yes, 1D, let us go there. Such fangirl, much feels.

Does He Know – I’m almost positive the guitars are sampled from “Jesse’s Girl” and/or are heavily influenced from this classic rock song. I sense many mash-ups coming…

Alive – Just more happy JoBros/classic rock/guitar-drum heavy/cowbell-inspired greatness!

Half A Heart – A pop ballad definitely reminiscent of classic Backstreet Boys tracks like “Shape of My Heart” and “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely.”

The album is officially released on Nov. 25th and I can’t wait to get my copy!

Peace, Love, & Rock n’ Roll,
A-Tran.

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