So around a week ago this album was released, it just took some time for us to get to a point where we could listen to and review it. Now, I don’t listen to One Direction often, but it would be pretty hard to use the internet and not know who they are by this point. Honestly the last song I’ve knowingly heard by the group prior to last night is their first big hit, and after last night’s AMAs performance I’m a bit eager to see how they’ve grown musically. This is a bit obviously the deluxe version of the album, so the sooner we get down to business the better for this review.
The first track on the album, Steal My Girl, starts off with with a piano led melody that leads into a more beat driven set of vocals, with the beat slowly mixing into the backing vocals with the melodic piano. It had the feel of a slower song but possessed a lot of energy, making it an excellent way to open the album. It opened the way for the album to continue into the second track, Ready to Run. This second track opens with more of a guitar lead, and an overall sparser feeling as the vocals begin. The song explodes in energy during the chorus, the sparseness falling away to a myriad of instruments.The blend of sparseness and energy carried the song through to it’s end stages. The third track on the album started off with a gentle build, with vocals predominating the opening of the song. The song grew as it continued to play, the instruments slowly blending in with the vocals. The blend of energy led the way to the track that marked the first fourth of the album, 18. 18 has a softer and sparser opening, with evocative vocals and a guitar playing in the background. The song slowly picked up as it continued, growing with each soft instrument making an appearance in the track, but staying away from a full explosion of sound.
Girl Almighty marks the fifth track on the album, and it starts off with a lot of energy and a myriad of instruments carrying the song. It was a great change from the slower track preceding it. The vocals keep right up with the energy of the song. The song really picked up the energy, and left you waiting for track six. However, Fool’s Gold slowed it back down, making a return to the soft and slow songs that explode with instruments during the chorus and grow as they play. It offered an excellent contrast to Girl Almighty, and captured several powerful emotions within it’s lyrics. The seventh track, Night Changes, happens to be the one that they performed last night at the AMAs. It opens with emotional vocals and keeps a slow and steady pace. The song keeps the focus on the vocals and lyrics, and is overall absolutely beautiful. The eighth track on the album, No Control, starts of with a stronger rhythm and beat opening, driving up the energy after the two slower songs.it blends a variety of songs into its short amount of time.
The ninth track on the album, Fireproof, starts off with a slightly dissonant guitar melody that leads into an energetic blend of drums and vocals. the song continues to grow from there, building up to a harmonic blend of the vocals and the instruments, knocking away any trace of the vague dissonance that marked the opening of the album. Track ten, Spaces, opens with an empty feeling, and a slow build of background noise as the vocals take the lead. The song builds to a harmony of the instruments and vocals, knocking away the sparse feeling possessed by the song. It sets the stage for the eleventh track, Stockholme Syndrome. Stockholme Syndrome starts off with a quick melody with the vocals starting soon into the song. The song continues at a quick pace before exploding with a mix of instruments and vocals during the chorus of the song. The energy and gentle fade out of the song carries us right into the twelfth track, Clouds. Clouds marks the three quarters point on the album and starts off with a quick and high pitched energy that quickly drops off into a focus on the vocals in the track. the chorus blends in the opening mix of instruments to the vocals. The energy stays at a high point throughout the song, and marks a great three quarters point or this album.
Track thirteen, Change Your Ticket, starts off with an explosion of instruments and energy, and keeps it up as the vocals start. The energy of the song stays high as it plays.it starts off the last fourth of the album with a lot of energy, and leaves you with high expectations for the next three songs. Illusion marks track fourteen on the album, and it opens with intense harmonic vocals and a steady pace set to the song. It keeps this up through the song, bringing more of a focus to the emotions expressed in the song. The fifteenth track, Once In A Lifetime, marks a return to soft and slow openings that build with time. The track features more open vocals as it plays, easing the way towards the last track on the album. Act My Age has a faster and more energetic opening to it. The vocals held more of a harmony basis, and the backing instruments blended easily with them. There was more of a celtic twist to this song when compared to the other tracks on the album, making it really stand out from all the other songs on the album.
All in all, you can really tell how One Direction has grown musically in this album. It’s a fantastic album and I definitely recommend giving it a chance if you haven’t already. Cover art for “Four” by One Direction goes to Syco Music, Columbia Records and respected artists. Image found on Ukmix.org.