Listen, y’all. Midnight Memories is where it’s at; like if you don’t know now you’ll never know and I feel so, so sorry for you, man, because this is an amazing pop album.
Okay so obviously I am in way too deep to offer an objective analysis but the good thing about music is that you can always listen to it and decide for yourself? You don’t have to take my word for it, I’m just asking you to give it a chance. And in return I will try my best to keep this focused on the actual music and not how amazingly cute/funny/cheeky the 1D boys are. For the record, One Direction is the best boy band ever, and I say that as an OG *NSYNC fangirl from way back in the day so.
Last side note: If you are looking for some external validation of the quality of this album other than my ravings, The Daily Beast and Grantland are two sort of high-brow blogs that published not necessarily glowing but favorable and insightful reviews. And there’s a moderate level of flailing in The Hairpin‘s piece but it’s got some good analysis too so definitely worth a peep.
Well there’s only one way to do this and that’s track by stellar track so let’s gooooooooo.
Best Song Ever Old news; this song came out during promo for their documentary in July so nothing too exciting here. Did you guys see This Is Us though? Wasn’t it endearing? I’m asking for the DVD for Christmas.
But yeah, definitely not the best song ever; actually just a pretty standard, fluffy pop jam (“I think it went ‘oh oh oh,’ I think it went ‘yeah yeah yeah,’ I think it goes… [rippin’ guitar solo]”). In the context of the overall album the rock-and-roll vibes definitely become a little more evident, especially Liam’s solo at the beginning of the second verse: “Said her name was Georgia Rose/and her daddy was a dentist.” UGH. Also Liam is hands-down the best singer in the band; don’t fight me on this.
Story of My Life This single also dropped like a month before the album, which takes away a little bit of the shine. Hard to say how much I would have liked it if I hadn’t been blaring it on repeat for a solid two weeks. Also the music video is adorable/creepy? IDK decide for yourself. But this song a good example of how it seems like they made a conscious effort to evenly distribute solos on this album instead of just having one go-to frontman, and for the most part the production accentuates the unique qualities of each of their voices so you can actually tell who’s singing instead of just autotuning them to death, which was one of my issues with their first album.
Also they absolutely smash this one when they sing it live (especially Harry OMG), so it’s a much better promo single than “Best Song Ever” which is important because I want everyone to love One Direction as much as I do.
Diana I almost always skip this one, not gonna lie. Also the chorus is extremely similar to “Last First Kiss” from their second album so yeah like just listen to that one instead; it’s much better. But apparently this song is supposed to be about fans and stuff so I guess it’s kind of a sweet sentiment: “Diana, let me be the one to lift your heart up and save your life/I don’t think you even realize, baby you’d be saving mine.” Aww.
Midnight Memories Is the chorus a blatant rip off of “Pour Some Sugar On Me”? Yes. Does that change the fact that this song will want to make you drive to the nearest dive bar, shotgun a couple of beers and then reenact every bar dancing scene from Coyote Ugly? Hell no. “Midnight Memories” is the musical embodiment of sexual frustration, y’all, from “5-foot somethin’ with the skinny jeeeeeeeans” (Liam AGAIN ugh) to “baby you and me, stumblin’ in the street” to all the panting, it’s just too much.
Also I’m pretty sure One Direction is infamous at this point for innocent-sounding lyrics that are really practically explicit (“And if we get together, yeah get together/don’t let the pictures leave your phone” from “Live While We’re Young” is the first example that springs to mind), but can we talk about “People talk shhh but we don’t listen”/”Same old shhh but a different day”?! Which is the closest they have ever come to actually swearing; I know it’s hoping against hope and will never actually happen but if there is a God and he loves me the next One Direction album will get an explicit content warning so they can finally say “shit” because seriously this is ridiculous.
You & I This is the other song I usually skip oops. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that the other ones are so good and I’m too impatient to listen to such a mellow tune. Zayn does absolutely shred the high notes, though, and there’s a pretty sweet, Coldplay-esque guitar solo in the middle so if you’re into that kind of thing and/or in the right mood it might be worth a listen.
Don’t Forget Where You Belong Did I mention that one of the big things that they’ve been talking about with this album is how the band helped write a bunch of the tracks themselves? Not sure exactly how much credit to give but at least one of them is listed as a writer on 12 out of 14 songs for the regular edition, and 15 out of 18 for the deluxe. It definitely seems like at least Louis and Liam were pretty significant contributors so that’s interesting/promising if it’s indicative of the direction of the sound, since they’re signed for two more albums at least. Anyway all that to say “Don’t Forget Where You Belong” is Niall’s one song; he co-wrote it with McFly and it’s really sweet and charming just like everything about Niall, who’s almost single-handedly responsible for holding up 1D’s clean-cut “boy band” image while the rest of them have started lookin’ a lil’ ragtag to be honest. Except for Liam, who is apparently becoming David Beckham? A helpful visual from their recent SNL gig: Continue reading