Release Date: Nov 13, 2015
Record label: Columbia
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Contemporary Pop/Rock
Justin Bieber and One Direction have always been the yin and yang of the pop-idol game, but never more so than now. They bring opposite agendas to their new LPs: Bieber is the comeback kid, with "Sorry" as his theme song. He spends Purpose learning lessons, begging for forgiveness and vowing to be a better Bieber. But 1D are racing for the exit – after announcing a split (hopefully temporary, because life is harsh enough), they've got a few parting gifts for their girl-almighty fan army.
Since the release of their last album, 2014's Four, One Direction went from five members to four with the departure of Zayn Malik, but not much else has changed. Working with their longtime production team of Julian Bunetta and John Ryan, Made in the A.M. is another slice of high-quality modern pop brought to life by the band's charm. They mostly stick to the formula that got them to the top of the charts, but throw in a couple of surprises that keep things interesting.
In the wee small hours? Maybe. Distracted and leaden, One Direction’s Made in the A.M. is the first album since their 2011 debut to offer hits plus filler. On 2013’s Midnight Memories and last year’s spectacular Four, non-singles like “Fireproof,” “Midnight Memories,” “Girl Almighty” demonstrated the range of their iPhone music collection, from Def Leppard stadium chants to fierce acoustic strumming.
Sure, they had a good run. Incessant fan selfies and tabloid hysteria aside, One Direction managed to pump a huge amount of money into Simon Cowell’s SyCo empire in the five years they spent as the UK’s biggest boyband. Minus Zayn Malik, they bid us farewell, for now, on this album of slick-sounding pop destined for sentimental GCSE results-day montages and other occasions involving both teens and tears.
Louis Tomlinson has a tattoo across his chest that reads, in big gothic lettering, 'It is what it is'. You can’t argue with that, can you. ‘It’ quite literally is what ‘it’ is, whether ‘it’ is a banana, a shit tattoo or a One Direction album. 'It is what it is' is one of those things people say when they haven’t got anything to say but are contractually obliged to say something.
The new album by One Direction is "Made in the A.M." The new album by One Direction is "Made in the A.M." Like clockwork, they arrive each November. We’re talking, of course, about One Direction albums. The British boy band, which formed on the U.K. version of “The X Factor” and quickly escalated to filling stadiums, has given us a new record every year since 2011.
Between June 2014 and June 2015, One Direction earned a ridiculous $130 million. That’s more than Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris. The pop combo’s merchandising team has clearly been firing on all cylinders – if you’d like your home to smell like One Direction, you can buy an official candle from the band’s website for £15. But the group’s large cast of songwriters and producers also deserve credit for extending One Direction’s shelf life by gently steering their sound from fizzy teen-pop to something more mature.
You have not truly heard the trauma that a lifetime in the spotlight can cause until you hear Justin Bieber sing, “What about the children?/Look at all the children we can change.” That simplistic plea comes near the end of the 21-year-old singer’s new album, “Purpose,” on a song called .