‘Made in the A.M.’ reflects the beauty of the night


Jeff Wheeler

British boy-band One Direction performs Thursday, July 18, 2013, at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)

Julianne Kerver, Staff Writer

Made in the A.M. is One Direction’s fifth studio album. The band has grown so much over the span that critics craved a more mature sound and One Direction delivered.

What’s so unique about this album compared to their others is the overall composition-achingly beautiful lyrics mixed with gentle piano keys and swishing percussion. With an even spread of slow songs as well as upbeat pop, One Directon’s latest album isn’t made for the radio; it’s made for interpretation.

‘Hey Angel,’ the opening song, is rich with romantic, alluring percussion and vocals. ‘Hey Angel, do you know the reasons why we look up to sky?’ Harry Styles sings.

This piece is one of the most heart-clenching songs on the album; its romantic backdrop sets the stage for an amazing number of what it means to be alive versus life on the other side.

‘Infinity’, the fourth song on the album, rings with a similar structure and uses the illusion of a night sky full of stars to tell the story of a lost and fading love.

‘If I Could Fly’ is arguably the most beautiful number on the track. With a backdrop of nothing but pure piano and a sprinkle of violin strings, the lyrics ring even more powerfully. ‘I’ve got scars even though they can’t always be seen/and pain gets hard. But now you’re here and I don’t feel a thing’ is one such line that reflects that maturity and loss of innocence One Direction has experienced from essentially growing up in the music industry.

But as the song wears on, the pain and passion in the voices of each boy becomes more and more predominant, blending beautifully with the slow piano in the background. The alternating of each boy’s voice during the bridge captured the unity of the band as not musicians, but as brothers.

Yet this album is also full of fast, upbeat songs that capture the mood of being loved or being in love. In ‘Drag Me Down,’ the refrain sings, ‘All these lights they can’t blind me/with your love nobody can drag me down.’ With guitar riffs that bring us back to late 70’s rock, this track provides a fresh flavor of the more mature sound the band has been promising. ‘Never Enough’ and ‘Perfect’ are two others that deliver more pop elements, as well as ‘Olivia’ and ‘What a Feeling.’

Overall, Made in the A.M. brings complex foundations of an entirely new form of pop. It’s elegant and more sophisticated than the kind of music performed by One Direction in the past, but it’s an album full of lyrical, poetic songs that catapults the listener into a type of pop all its own.