One Direction Stays The Course Without Malik

On Nov. 13, One Direction released its fifth album, Made in the A.M. This is the band’s first album since the departure of Zayn Malik in March. His exit caused a great stir among fans and has left them wondering what the band’s music would sound like. The change was quite noticeable on the album. Being one of the strongest vocalists in the band, Malik’s presence is definitely missed. With Malik gone, fans get to hear more highlights from members who normally didn’t have as many solos. Despite Malik’s missing vocals, the album still remains a cohesive collection of the quartet’s talents.

This album on the whole is a fairly slow with many reflective tracks. The tempo and tone, however, are picked up with songs such as “Perfect,” “Drag Me Down,” and “Temporary Fix” that have a more upbeat vibe.

The album starts off with “Hey Angel,” which features the band’s high-pitch vocals in their typical fashion. The next track, “Drag Me Down,” has a much more upbeat melody. The airy drum and light guitar riff complements the effect. The catchy chorus is sure to leave the listener singing along. This song’s music video has 200 million views on YouTube. The video features the group flying up in a rocket with NASA to literally demonstrate that nothing could drag this group down.


 


Following “Drag Me Down” comes another single from the album, “Perfect.” The music video was released in October and has nearly 50 million views on YouTube. This video features a black and white scene of members of the band looking out onto the NYC cityscape from a hotel window. “Perfect” is rumored to have been written about Harry Styles’ ex Taylor Swift. The line that stands out to listeners to suggest this is, “And if you like cameras flashing every time we go out and if you’re looking for someone to write your breakup songs about.” Also, the music video of the song was shot in one of Taylor Swift’s home cities.

“Infinity” is next up on the album. One line that stuck out the most was, “Eyes can’t shine / Unless there’s something burning bright behind.” The lyrics are at once poignant and enlightening. The song starts off pretty slow, but by the end it picks up with a strong electronic guitar riff that makes up for what “Infinity” was lacking. This track was not written by One Direction, but by John Ryan, Jamie Scott, and Julian Bunetta who also wrote the One Direction hit “Story of My Life.”

The rest of the songs on the album that made up the middle of the album were “End of the Day,” “I Want to Write You a Song,” and “History.” These songs again feature more solos from members of the band like Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson who were not featured as often when Malik was still a part of the group.

The album wraps up with “Temporary Fix.” This piece picks up the pace the rest of the album lacked and featured a catchy chorus and a strong and flowy instrumental. Niall Horan co-wrote this song and the goal behind it was for it to be a rock song.

With the release of this album, many fans are nervous this may be the last they hear of One Direction. In October 2015, the group decided they were to take at least a year hiatus so they could focus on individual projects. They will continue promoting this album through February of 2016, going on a national tour, but it may be a while before fans hear the group together again. With this album instilling hope in One Direction fans, hopefully this is not the last we hear from them.

Featured Image by Columbia Records