Album Review: “Made in the A.M.”


Guardian Staff

British boy band One Direction’s fifth, and final album in a while, concludes their musical evolution from teen pop sensations to exceptional boy band.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
Release Date: Nov. 13

One Direction has performed on British X-Factor, recorded five studio albums and experienced the stages of adolescence in the spotlight. Now, following Zayn Malik’s departure, they’ve managed to maintain their boy band image in “Made in the A.M” with diverse tracks. One Direction delivers a possible farewell album that sets a nostalgic mood: the integrated development of style and lyrics is representative of the band’s maturing personalities that will appeal to anyone, not just a part of the fangirl circle.

“Made in the A.M” was announced following the band’s statement of an indefinite hiatus, making this album the most anticipated yet. With lyrics like “Goodbyes are bittersweet” and “We had some good times, didn’t we?,” the band hopes to leave on a high note with a reflective theme. Opening tracks like “Hey Angel” attempt to set the developing tone, yet fall through with repetitive lyrics and a generic tempo. “Drag Me Down,” although the album’s first hit single, may be the album’s worst. The lack of genuine lyrical content and absence of diverse instrumentals contrasts the band’s endeavor to mature their sound. Despite being banal, these tracks don’t compare to the overall significant transformation of the band.

Moving further down the track list, One Direction delivers a more passionate tone compared to their 2010 pop album “Up All Night.” The mix of lyrical melodies and rock vibes really portray a band graduating from choreographed dance numbers mostly appealing to teenage girls. “If I Could Fly”, the album’s ballad, incorporates unique orchestral incorporation and prominent solos from each member that make up for the loss of Zayn Malik’s notable high notes. “What a Feeling” has the Bee Gees influence on lyrical harmonies that successfully capture the emotional development of the band. “Temporary Fix” is the rock anthem portraying their new rock image with a head-banging tempo. Finally, the album’s title track “A.M” delivers a farewell with an acoustic mellow tone, bringing listeners nostalgia for their musical journey.

Although berated for gaining fame as runner-ups of a singing competition, One Direction has surely come a long way musically. “Made in the A.M.” may be their “Abbey Road,” and if so, successfully wraps up the unforgettable musical career that is known as One Direction.