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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

New Album Review - Midnight Memories - One Direction

As the boys of One Direction get bigger and bigger, so do the expectations for their music. Their new album Midnight Memories just dropped and brings with it a slew of questions. How far will their teen base follow them? Can they pick up new fans with more mature music? Will they date you? So many questions, and all the answers are here...

Let's get one thing straight. They're not going to date you. We're sorry to ruin your holiday season, but it's the truth. But no worries. You can listen to their fantastic new album and still pretend every word of every song is for you.

Unlike many of their contemporary pop acts, whoever is in charge of these boys is making all the right career decisions. The album has 14 tracks, and the deluxe version ups that total to 18. As consumers save every penny they can for furbys, roombas, and other wacky holiday gifts, One Direction makes sure you get your money's worth. And what's more impressive is that none of the 18 tracks feel like a filler. Some artists can't even manage that with a 10 song album.

With Midnight Memories, the boys officially take reign of the contemporary ballad. Mid-tempo tracks Through the Dark, Don't Forget Where You Belong, and second single Story of My Life are the perfect examples of how really sweet songs can still have a good beat. It's when the fellas get stripped down, though (musically stripped...stay with us folks), that their talent for tenderness really shines. With their bare guitars and acoustic vocals, You and I and Half a Heart are fantastically beautiful love songs. You might pass out from the feels.

Boy bands usually get the ballads down, though (although rarely as effortlessly as this). It's the upbeat songs that usually kill the appeal of these artists. But Midnight Memories perfectly blends past and current sounds to appeal to a wide variety of music lovers. Does He Know literally couldn't sound more like Rick Springfield's 80s classic Jessie's Girl, Alive could've easily fit on a 90s Poison album, and Why Don't We Go There feels like it was co-written by '00s icons Blink 182.

Don't get the impression that this album lives in the past though, the boys just use older sounds to construct a contemporary album with a few retro nods. Strong and Little White Lies are some of the catchiest pop songs we've heard so far this decade, and they feel fresh and contemporary in a time where it's not easy to create new and distinct sounds. This is the future of pop music, folks. A very hot future.

One Direction fans will expectedly find themselves in the throws of passion and hormones with Midnight Memories. The surprise is that this album appeals to fans of all types of music and of all ages. That's quite the feat and these boys deserve major kudos for pulling it off. Check out Midnight Memories at iTunes, and check the stunning video for Story of My Life below..!

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