1D sing about heartbreak, love and life on the road, but the album, which follows their previous chart-topper Take Me Home, shows maturity in their lyrical content and their sound. It has us asking: is this really a boy band?
The answer is yes, but they aren't your typical boy band. Harry, Liam, Zayn, Louis and Niall perfectly blend their pop sound with an '80s rock, retro vibe, which features everything from arena-packing anthems ("Midnight Memories") to folk-style, drum-driven tracks, ("Through the Dark"), and, if it sounds like it's a mix of a lot of different components, that's because it is, and it works.
Directioners have most likely listened to the lead tracks, "Best Song Ever" and "Story of My Life," and quite possibly, the album, countless times, but there is much more to Midnight Memories, which is why MTV News has broken down the four songs you need to listen to.
Following "Best Song Ever" and "Story of My Life" is the addictive, upbeat power-pop track ripped out of the '80s that has everyone named Diana thanking their parents. The throwback vibe reflects the retro sound of the album, as the song, reminiscent of the Police's 1981 hit, "Don't Stand so Close To Me," builds over a heavy drum beat as 1D chant the name, "Diana."
The boys don't want the "pretend love" they sang on "Live While We're Young." Now, they're willing to fall headfirst into long-lasting romance on "Strong." The mid-tempo, catchy track (Niall Horan's favorite) uses soft guitar riffs to slow down the verses. It packs energy during the chorus, which showcases the guys perfectly harmonized vocals.
"People always trying to escape it/ Move on to stop their heartbreaking/ But there's nothing I'm running from/ You make me strong," 1D sing on the track.
'Little Black Dress'
When Liam told us that the album would take a "very rock direction," he wasn't kidding, and the best example of that is "Little Black Dress," co-written by Liam and Louis. It may be the shortest song on the album, but it's also the strongest. Their voices soar over fun, flirty lyrics and show off their overall maturity.
"Little black dress just walked into the room/ Makin' heads turn/ Can't stop looking at you," they sing.
We imagine that there will be a lot of Directioners will be rocking their best LBD to their upcoming world tour!
'Little White Lies'
"Little White Lies" was co-penned by Louis and Liam. Though they keep with the rock vibe, they do infuse a bit of EDM into the mix, while also giving us a spurt of pop. With an album that's very folk-rock influenced, it's a strong track that's reminiscent to some of their earlier hits, such as "What Makes You Beautiful."
"If this room was burning/ I wouldn't even notice/ 'Cause you've been taking up my mind/ With your little white lies, little white lies," they sing.