Written by Mallory Delchamp
For those of you who have been living under a rock, there is this cute little boy band named One Direction that has steadily captured the hearts of young girls (and young boys for that matter) all across the world. With two (now three) hit albums, a successful movie, and countless merchandise, One Direction has gone from X-Factor heartthrobs to global superstars in less than three years. Their latest album, Midnight Memories is only going to skyrocket their popularity.
The five European lads are growing up and (though they have never claimed to be) the boys are not squeaky clean. Midnight Memories is an excellent example. With lyrics such as “Best I ever had, Hips don’t lie, you make me wanna’ shhh…One more night” One Direction has come a long way since their “What Makes You Beautiful” (their first U.S. hit) days. It’s refreshing to see a band actually act their age as opposed to extreme media stunts.
While I do think Midnight Memories is their weakest album so far, it is completely different from their previous albums, Up All Night and Take Me Home. This album is more mature and the songs are more rock and folk based. The first single off of the album, “Best Song Ever” resembles The Who’s iconic hit, “Baba O’Riley”. “Story of My Life”, the group’s latest number one single is a strong ballad with meaningful lyrics such as “The story of my life I take her home, I drive all night to keep her warm and time Is frozen, The story of my life I give her hope, I spend her love until she’s broke inside…” The melancholy “Diana” is a haunting song about a girl dealing with emotional issues.
The other songs are not as sing-along-worthy but are still worth listening to. “Happily” and “Through the Dark” are very Mumford and Sons-like minus the artistic lyrics. The album’s title track is very 1980s hair metal. (I am just waiting for the One Direction boys to cover Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me”) “Does He know?” is upbeat and fun and it also has a very ’80s-“Jessie’s Girl”-esque sound. The tune, “Little White Lies” is also blatantly about sex and the five some make it very obvious that they prefer the not-so-good-girls. The remaining handful of tunes are sadly forgettable but will provide wonderful background music for driving around in your car.
Bottom line: Midnight Memories showcases One Direction’s feasible attempt to transition from a poppy boy band to a more indie rock group. Whether or not the transition successfully works doesn’t matter, because the handsome boy band will never be short of passionate fans regardless of what their music may sound like.