Some people might roll their eyes and scoff at the mention of One Direction. For the longest time, people have viewed them as five boys doused with performing hollow, catchy pop songs to screaming, teenage girls. If anyone had heard about their upcoming album, Midnight Memories, before it hit the music stands, many people would have shrugged it off. Not many people find joy in listening to upbeat, vapid songs directed towards teens and tweens for an hour. Midnight Memories, on the contrary, has a more mature sound than anything One Direction has released before. All of the band members wrote a majority of the tracks on the album, and it has a more rock sound to it.
Midnight Memories varies immensely from past albums by One Direction. Songs such as “Diana”, “Midnight Memories”, and “Better Than Words” are blasts from the past as they sound similar to what one might hear on the radio in the 1980s. “Happily” and “Through the Dark” are Mumford and Sons-inspired tracks that talk about loving someone and wanting to get them back. The overall sound of the album is more heavily influenced by rock music than past One Direction albums have been. Die hard fans are proud of the new, sophisticated sound from the five boys from across the pond, and for good reason. They watched these five men grow up and develop a sound on their own that differentiates from their past, strictly pop songs.
The optimal part of the album is the writing done by the members of One Direction. The songs on Midnight Memories are more personal because all five members collectively contributed to writing most of the songs on the album. One track in particular, “Don’t Forget Where You Belong”, stands out above the rest. While most of the songs are about love, “Don’t Forget Where You Belong” was written by member Niall Horan about the journey he and his band mates have taken since their start in 2010. The songwriting adds a more personal element to the album by pushing past experiences up to the front lines for everyone to hear about.
Midnight Memories has a different dynamic than albums previously released by One Direction. It offsets what they have done in the past, and has put One Direction in a music category completely separate from sugar-coated pop. The album’s sound reveals how they have grown up in the past few years alongside their fans. Midnight Memories is beginning to establish One Direction as an adult group. The album exhibits how these five men have grown away from the boys who were made famous for “What Makes You Beautiful”.