Midnight Memories

Like the Supreme Court, One Direction want you to believe that corporations are people, too. They, and many co-writers, lard this third LP with references to adulthood ("I'm at the age where I know what I need") and hectic lives ("Living out of cases, packing up and taking off"). But the real subject is the band's fans, the Twitter equivalent of soccer hooligans; in "You & I," 1D depict loyalty as heroism worthy of Katniss Everdeen. They joyfully plunder rock riffs and hip-hop beats, but a logjam of lousy ballads suggests Bryan Adams embodies their ideal of maturity.

From The Archives Issue 1198: December 19, 2013