The day has finally arrived: Made in the A.M., the fifth studio album from One Direction has landed. It’s their final release for at least two years, so we’re savouring this one while it lasts. MITAM is also their first without resident xX BaD BoY Xx Zayn Malik. How’d they do? Find out and listen along with us with this Play By Play.
The album’s opener is a slower rock-sounding anthem. Incidentally, “Hey Angel” is also my reaction whenever I see a photo of Liam Payne
Lyric: Hey angel/Tell me, do you ever try/To come to the other side?
DMD was the first single without Zayn (RIP five-piece 1D), and it’s all about not letting the haters hold you back and succeeding in the face of adversity. Very fitting. It’s punchy and rocky and is a great song that gets this album going.
Lyric: All these lights that can’t blind me/With your love, nobody can drag me down
Another track they’ve already released, Perfect is a party song masquerading as a love song. Basically, if you want a bad boy who will probably be flaky, then 1D is perfect for you. The best part of this track is the subtle shade Styles throws at T-Swizzie.
Lyric: And if you like cameras flashing every time we go out/And if you’re looking for someone to write your breakup songs about/Baby, I’m perfect, Baby, we’re perfect
Things come down after the two bangers preceding “Infinity”. The New York Times points out how much this track sounds like a Coldplay joint. “How many nights does it take to count the stars” is 1D’s “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you”. The music swells at the bridge making this song pretty interesting and enjoyable.
Lyric: And now I’m one step closer to being/Two steps far from you/And everybody wants you/Everybody wants you
The chorus of this song was made for a stadium of 20 000 screaming fans to sing along with. It’s a sweet song about longing and wanting things we know we can’t—or shouldn’t—have.
Lyric: I set you on fire babe/And down came the lightning on me/Love can be frightening for sure
Here’s the track that meets your required ballad on every One Direction album. File this next to Midnight Memories‘ “Little Things”.
Lyric: For your eyes only/I’ll show you my heart/For when you’re lonely and forget who you are/I’m missing half of me when we’re apart
Another sad song. There’s twangy guitar that makes me think of Shania’s “Still The One”. We’re halfway through the album. Let’s see if it’s really a long way down.
Lyric: I try to forgive you/But I struggle cause I don’t know how/We built it up so high and now I’m fallin’/It’s a long way down…
This track about insatiable need for more is complete with what sounds like football team’s HOO-AH. The “come on!” repeated in the song sounds like it could be from an Elton John single.
Lyric: I don’t need my love (You can take it, you can take it, take it)/I don’t need my heart (You can break it, you can break it, break it)
This sounds like a song from a Broadway production about star-crossed lovers. Also it makes me wish my name was Olivia.
Lyric: Please believe me, don’t you see/The things you mean to me?/Oh I love you, I love you/I love, I love, I love Olivia
This song sounds like a smooth disco track a la Giorgio Morodor. It sounds the way a Thursday night on a dingy diner dance floor feels like.
Lyric: But you’ve got stars in your eyes/And I’ve got something missing tonight
The farewells begin with the third last song on the album. Obviously a breakup song, it’s been suggested that the track, written by Louis, is about his ex Eleanor Calder. The lyrics perfectly illustrate a desperation you feel after someone you love breaks your heart.
Lyric: I know there’s nothing I can do to change it,/But is there something that can be negotiated/My heart’s already breaking breaking, baby, go on, twist the knife
This acoustic song is a sweet and innocent one. It’s shy and soft and is a weird contrast to the emotionally charged “Love You, Goodbye” that comes right before it.
Lyric: I want to build you a boat/One that’s as strong as you are free/So any time you think that your heart is gonna sink/You know it won’t
History is the band’s last hurrah. Liam’s called it their version of “You’ve Got A Friend In Me”. The chorus is a crowd-vocal complete with hand clapping. The end’s not near, it’s here, and it’s evident in the lyrics that promise us we can live forever.
Lyric: You and me got a whole lot of history/We could be the greatest team that the world has ever seen/You and me got a whole lot of history/So don’t let it go, we can make some more, we can live forever