The anticipation of a new album has been at a critical high. There’s so much riding on this release with the obvious and conspicuous absence of the traitor Zayn (hence forth known as He Who Must Not Be Named). We’re SO ready for the boys to step out as the new One Direction, and also to pulverize the sniveling child bot Justin Bieber in sales. Our majestic guys have changed so much over this past year, and our curiosity wants to know where these changes have taken them.
Here we go…
Track 1 – Hey Angel
G: When I hear this song I can actually see them in the stadium sweeping across the stage. This is the new concert opener without a doubt. This is a big tune, and it’s going to be heaven live. I can’t wait for this one live – I can already feel Harry’s hair being tossed around while his paisley tunic flounces carelessly in a summer breeze. Yesssss.
L: Agreed. This one isn’t served by deep analysis. It’s supposed to get you pumped as the boys walk onstage to explosions in our hearts and in he sky in the form of fireworks. I’m so sad they aren’t touring to support this album, though this is by far the most “arena” of the songs on this album, save Drag Me Down which they released in time to perform on the last tour.
Track 2 – Drag Me Down
G & L: We’ve always thought the boys weren’t great at picking singles, given that Tell Me a Lie is still not being released as a single which is an international tragedy.Ok… now that we’re back from listening to Tell Me a Lie and fist bumping along…. We like this as the lead single. It’s a catchy tune. Don’t act like you haven’t already listened to it a thousand times!
Track 3 – Perfect
G: Ok, the first time I heard it I wasn’t in love. I felt like the song would be amazing to fans – but might not reach to the general public – or show them in a more “mature” light. But, I’m probably and wrong (I hope so). The more I hear it the more it grows on me.
L: I really like this one, and the obvious Taylor Swfit references probably pumped up it’s consideration as a single (the fact that said references were put in a bridge was downright genius). I think it’s fairly popular, based on the very scientific analysis of “how often it plays during my commute.” It’s one of the more traditional upbeat pop songs on the record, and the music video is a nice return to their ridiculousness.
Track 4 – Infinity
G: Ok I can’t express how much I instantly loved this song. It feels like the boys are finding their perfect balance on solos and really evening out their involvement. It’s flowy and lovely. Lerv.
L: I agree about the solos. This is the song that plays in the car where you want to identify to your passengers (who don’t show the requisite enthusiasm) who is singing each verse and why it is perfect. Also, I think there’s a lot of space references tied to this album, between the astronaut setting for the Drag Me Down video, and the line about “we had a spaceship but we couldn’t land it” in Long Way Down. I don’t know what that means.
Track 5 – End of the Day
G: The opening verse of this song is probably my favorite part of the whole album. Ahh I just love it. I’m starting to really get into this album – It feels like a bit of a throwback in a great way. And then at 2:17 Louis hits the high note that blows our minds and we are left speechless and asking where has high note Louis been for the last 5 years. Suck it HWMNBN
L: I completely agree about the opening verse. It’s so subtle and great. I also love the jingley bits between the chorus and the verses.
Track 6 – If I Could Fly
G: It’s a solid slow track. I think it’s a good filler to round out the album. Please boys don’t make this a single.
L: I was 100% sure this song was called “For Your Eyes Only” until this exact moment. Which made me think of the notes I wrote in middle school, which seems related for some reason. ANYWAY, I agree it’s fine but not single material.
Track 7 – Long Way Down
G: This is another slow track but definitely has a lot more punch. We’re feeling a lot of Louis/Eleanor in this one. Louis we’re here to console you.
L: I really like this one. I find it oddly soothing for something that is obviously not happy.
Track 8 – Never Enough
G: The intro is a bit confusing. I’m not really sure what those sounds are – is that you Harry or a play set in the jungle? It’s a fun song – but not one that really speaks to me on the album. I also kind of hear a lot of the 80’s in this one. Not necessarily my highest compliment.
L: I unabashedly love the 80s in all forms, so the sound doesn’t feel as jarring for me. I will concede that some of the noises sound like they came from “Little Green Frog” from We Sing in Sillyville. I like this, but it might just be because it sounds so interesting.
Track 9 – Olivia
G: Ok this is such a good one! This needs to be a single. Please! It’s not a big huge chorus like some past 1D singles, but I think it’s such a fun look at their sound and would really shows them in a different light. Simple. Sweet. LOVE. Also you can join us in the queue for a name change.
L: When I first heard this, it reminded me of Haim’s “The Wire.” I call super dibs on the name change. I don’t think there has every been a song in the history of time written about a Laine. I really like this song, but the weird Willy Wonka Bridge almost ruins it for me.
Track 10 – What a Feeling
G: I think I heard this is Liam’s favorite on the album. It’s my least favorite. I just picture a movie and this song playing in the background. Sorry guys.
L: I don’t hate it, but it should not under any circumstances be a single.
Track 11 – Love You Goodbye
G: A bit of a naughty song really but with a blubbery vibe. NEVER say goodbye boys!
L: I think I read an interview with Louis that said this is the one about Eleanor. His voice really shines here. There are a billion and one songs about post break-up hook-ups, but there’s nothing wrong with doing something standard as long as you do it well, which this definitely does. I’ve found myself listening to this one more that I thought I would.
Track 12 – I Want to Write You a Song
G: This is another of my favorites! It doesn’t have big production, just the guys and a guitar. I’m really digging some of these scaled back tunes. I’d also like to nominate this one to be a single.
L: I do like the pluckiness of this one, and the flow of it reminds me of Little Things, which I think did ok? I know it was a single. God, I have so many opinions about them, but obviously don’t know enough about their singles.
Track 13 – History
G: Ok now I can’t decide on my nomination for the next single. This is suuuuch a strong song. It also might make you a bit teary eyed when you start to think back over all of the 1D history. Video diaries anyone? I imagine the video they would make for this would be magical. Love it! I’m calling that this will be their future tour closing song.
L: This would be a really fun single. You are totally right. I can picture yelling this at a concert, but I also think a more stripped down acoustic version would be perfect.
Track 14 – Temporary Fix
G: Ok – good chill and fun rock song. The chorus is a lot of fun and another big tune that I know will be awesome live! I’m feeling like this album has been shaped by their constant touring – they know what the songs will be live. It almost feels like they’re just recorded live. *sigh*
L: I love love love love this. Almost incoherently. I also think they lyrics have some fun turns of phrase, which I am a total sucker for.
Track 15 – Walking in the Wind
G: Another solid track. How are they doing this? There are so many amazing songs on this album.
L: I can already tell this is going to be one I skip when listening to the album. It’s a little bland for my tastes, but I think it might be about Zayn. Is that reasonable or am I nuts? I also think the opening melody sounds like the theme song to a children’s TV show.
Track 16 – Wolves
G: Decent track. Not one that stands out to me or grabs me. Halfway through I start listening to History again. Don’t get me wrong – I like the track – just not a stand out for me.
L: The opening of this sounds like a 70’s tv show theme. I’m busting out the TV references here. Which isn’t a bad thing. I actually really love. This is another one I just keep playing every time I’m in the car. I feel like Grace and I have traded feelings for this song and Walking in the Wind.
Track 17 – A.M.
G: The boys finally utter a curse word in a song. Nothing too shocking but good to hear them getting a bit out there. When I hear this song I picture the guys sitting around in a circle singing and I love everything about it.
L: Agreed, this song is wonderful because you really picture them shooting shit late at night. It also does a good job of capturing the isolated bubble I feel like they all have to live in. I picture a montage video of them all laughing and ending with passing out around a campfire. It also makes me feel nostalgic about my own life.
Overall Review: This album is awesome. I love that the guys each have their voice represented you can finally hear more Louis and Niall. Yes!!!!
I’ve heard a criticism that the One Direction album “sounds like the past” but I actually think this is a compliment. – There’s not a lot of electronic / machine sounds like a lot of the other pop out now. It’s the guys, guitars, and their songs. I think this was the perfect album for them to make right now – I’m loving some of the throwback vibes. With the level of fame they have achieved they could easily have just hummed nonsense about a shoe box – but they decided to make an awesome album instead.
Note from Laine: Grace, charge your phone.