One Direction’s new album is edgier, shows growth for band

julia kuhn, in depth editor

British boy band One Direction released their third studio album, Midnight Memories, on November 25. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200.

The album is generally what you would expect from One Direction: a well produced pop album with catchy singles. Having said that, Midnight Memories is surprisingly edgier than their previous albums and has more of a rock sound.

The title track, “Midnight Memories,” exemplifies the movement towards rock, with its strong vocals and prominent guitar. “Diana” and “Little Black Dress” add to the rock feel.

Besides the rock sound, another surprising aspect of the album is the influence of artists from different genres. The stomping, tambourine, and unison chorus of “Happily” and “Through the Dark” is reminiscent of bands like Mumford and Sons and the The Lumineers. Also, Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody co-wrote “Something Great,” and the slow tempo love song sounds similar to a Snow Patrol song.

The album does fall a little flat, however, most noticeably with “You & I” and “Don’t Forget Where You Belong.” Both songs come in the middle of the album, and the two slow songs lose the energy of the up-tempo songs from the beginning of the album.

Although there is some growth on Midnight Memories, the band returns to bubblegum pop with one of their singles from this album, “Best Song Ever.” This song sounds just like the group’s first two biggest hits, “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Live While We’re Young.” Other catchy pop songs on the album include “Little White Lies,” “Story of My Life,” and “Better Than Words.”

Overall, Midnight Memories was a surprisingly good album that continued One Direction’s previous success with pop songs while also branching out to some new material.