One Direction’s Midnight Memories Album Review

We might have thought the 90’s brought an end to the over marketed, commercialized boy bands, but Britain’s One Direction has proved us wrong. Their third album, Midnight Memories, is a hodgepodge of 80’s mellow rock and current pop music. Although catchy, after listening to the whole album, no song is actually memorable. What Midnight Memories fails to do is take the listener on a meaningful journey.

Most songs on the album are about physical attraction – the songs do not scratch the surface to explore relationships built on emotion. The only exceptions are “Story of My Life,” “Strong,” and “You & I,” which comprise roughly 21 percent of the album and are the only songs even worth paying for.

“Story of My Life” is the second single released from Midnight Memories. It captures the emotion of someone whose heart is open to love but always remains vacant. Although “Strong,” is a sappy love song of how a boy cannot live without a girl because she is what gives him strength, at least it is about the emotional side of a relationship. The passion expressed in the song makes it one of the best on the album. “You & I” is about a strong, profound love. Nothing, according to the song, can separate you and One Direction from each other because of One Direction’s deep, passionate love for you. Although the lyrics are a perfect example of what appeals to a fan girl, the simplicity of this 80’s sounding song can easily appeal to anyone if the lyrics are ignored.

It probably was not meant to be a joke, but the first track on the album, “Best Song Ever,” is far from the best song ever. The lyrics lack emotional depth and tell the story of how a boy falls in love with a girl whose dad is a dentist. What her father’s occupation is adds no meaning to the song, except for the fact that it is filler for the lackluster lyrics.

The namesake of the album, “Midnight Memories” is the best representation of 80’s rock on the album. Listeners had better watch out though, because the bad boys of boy bands magically appear in this song. One Direction is either releasing some tension or is extremely frustrated with having younger fans that they cannot cuss in front of. The lyrics clearly state, “people talk shh but we don’t listen.” Apparently, they also do not care what people say about them.

 Two songs on the album, “Little White Lies” and “Happily” are repetitive with fire imagery, referencing how a girl is on fire (which seems utterly uncomfortable and someone should grab a fire extinguisher). Both songs lack a recognizable meaning but do have a catchy tune that gets stuck in your head. 

Midnight Memories excels as a compilation of typical songs marketed to young teen girls. Perhaps my expectations are too high in a world filled with meaningless commercialized music produced to make music executives money, but One Direction’s new album is truly a disappointment.