One Direction - Made in the A.M.
This time last year, we were speculating on whether 'Four' might be One Direction's last album. Well, it wasn't – but there's every chance that 'Made in the A.M.' might well be, despite the boyband's insistence that their hiatus is exactly that – juat a hiatus.
As possible swansongs go, however, this is pretty middle-of-the-road stuff. The songwriting credits exhibit a band that are more assertive about the type of songs that they want to sing, whether it's Harry Styles taking the lead on the playful, Beatles-esque pomp of 'Olivia' or the comparatively quirky 'Never Enough', co-written by Niall Horan and featuring an oddly misplaced Ladysmith Black Mambazo style undercurrent.
Despite their determination to make their own mark, the problem with 'Made in the A.M.' is that even five albums in, there are still no real defining characteristics to One Direction, and each song acts primarily as a showcase for their voices. That said, if well-constructed, glossy pop tunes are your bag, you'll find them in abundance on the Maroon 5-style 'End of the Day' and the anthemic 'Drag Me Down', while the dreamy jangle of 'What a Feeling' raises a suspicion of Fleetwood Mac-style fanboyism in the songwriting room.
In any case, whether One Direction sound bored on this album is beside the point. It's hardly going to sway the naysayers, nor will it cause gnashing and wailing of teeth amongst ardent fans devastated by their break. Instead, it's a solid pop album – regardless of whether it's a full stop or a comma in the career of one of music history's biggest boybands.
Review by Lauren Murphy | 15:04 | Sunday 15th November 2015 | Album Review