One Direction writes “Perfect” album before embarking on year-long hiatus

Kylie Kvam

One Direction released its highly anticipated fifth album on Nov. 13 following the announcement of its one-year hiatus and the departure of former band member Zayn Malik in March. Throughout the album, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson show development not only as singers, but also as songwriters.

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“Made in the A.M.” is One Direction’s best work to date. The band members wrote more of their own songs for this album than ever before, which allowed them to discuss more personal topics, and ultimately bring emotional depth to the album. There are 17 songs on the deluxe version of the album, 13 of which are co-written by Styles, Horan, Payne and Tomlinson.

The depth of subjects within the album is based off of the number of personal events that have taken place in the last year, such as Zayn’s departure and the multiple breakups between girlfriends. Songs like “Love You Goodbye” and “What A Feeling” encapsulate those themes.

The album was written and compiled during early morning hours while the group was on its “On The Road Again World Tour,” which led to the title, “Made In the A.M.”

When compared to 1D’s first album, “Up All Night,” “Made In the A.M.” displays a major advancement in the band’s musical abilities. Although the pace of the album is quite slow, it is justified because there are more than a few songs that are about somber heartbreak and goodbyes.

In addition, the toned-down sound of the album works because it sets the right mood for the group’s goodbye to their fans––no mutual breakup between fans and their idols should be paired with an upbeat electric number.

“Perfect” is a light-hearted ode to casual relationships. Spontaneity is shown in the catchy chorus, “If you like causing trouble up in hotel rooms/And if you like having secret little rendezvous/If you like to do the things you know that we shouldn’t do/Then baby, I’m perfect/ Baby, I’m perfect for you.”

“Perfect” is distinctively different from any other One Direction love song, keeping a cool and casual feel to it. Indeed, it is the “perfect” anthem to an anti-committal relationship.

“History” is 1D’s cheerful tribute to its fans. The lyrics, “You and me got a whole lot of history/We could be the greatest team that the world has ever seen/You and me got a whole lot of history/So don’t let it go, we can make some more, we can live forever.” The optimistic lyrics reassure fans that this album is not the end for the band and their love for it.

The first single off the album, “Drag Me Down,” was released this summer, accompanied by a humorous space-themed music video shot at the NASA station in Houston while the band was on their tour. The lyrics of the song captivate how criticism and doubt from the past five years can’t drag them down.

“Made in the A.M.” is an album that highlights how the band has matured since entering the music industry in 2010. The band hasn’t skipped a beat without Zayn Malik. Their voices sound slightly different now that they have to make up for the high notes that Zayn would typically hit, but they are successful in trying out their new roles.

Many of the songs on the album follow in the style of the band’s typical pop music, but some also feature less electronic production and richer vocal sounds during their acoustic songs like “I Want to Write You a Song” and the stripped version of “Perfect” that was released with the “Perfect EP” Oct. 22.

On Nov. 13, One Direction’s album went up against Justin Bieber’s album, “Purpose,” for the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart. Though Justin Bieber clinched the spot with what some are calling “his comeback album,” One Direction is still number one in its screaming fans’ hearts.

One Direction made one last performance in the Bay Area at the 99.7 Triple Ho Show 6.0 on Dec. 2 at the SAP Center in San Jose. Its hiatus will begin at the end of the year.