A couple months ago, One Direction announced that they would be going on a hiatus following the release of fifth album Made in the A.M. Fans have been torn between believing that the group's latest LP may be their last and hoping for a future with more new music from the beloved boy band. Over 1D's last few albums, beginning with 2013's Midnight Memories, listeners have witnessed the group transform its sound from bubblegum pop to more a folk- and Seventies rock–inflected approach, which they've settled in comfortably on with MITAM. Following the album's release, we asked our readers to vote for their favorite One Direction songs. Here are the results.
Of all the songs on the band's third album Midnight Memories, "Through the Dark" may be their most Mumford moment. The song builds up to a regular folk stomper, especially as they harmonize on the sing-along-ready chorus. When the group sang it on Saturday Night Live while clad in mostly black clothing, they solidified that their genre-turn was more than just an experiment or a gimmick.
"Story of My Life" was the band's biggest public turning points and showed off just how much the boys then best-known for the bubblegum track "What Makes You Beautiful" had turned into a rock-tinged, power-pop quintet. Above an acoustic guitar, the group became its most reflective while contemplating a bad romance. One Direction's newfound maturity rang out beyond just their superfans — "Story of My Life" helped transition the group into something bigger than a teen pop phenomenon.
"'Olivia' was Harry's genius," frequent collaborator Julian Bunetta told Rolling Stone earlier this month. The tune is a perfect little reference to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper era as it hits the playfully sung "I love you Olivia." The Made in the A.M. song has a campfire sing-along quality that gets just theatrical enough in its pining lyrics and delivery. Paul McCartney would surely be flattered by the boy band's nod to his songwriting.
"Night Changes" is the last official 1D single to feature Zayn Malik and represents the group in peak boy-band form as it relays the values of living for the moment and celebrating youth. The romantic song follows in the thematic footsteps of the track "Live While We're Young," but it showcases just how much more mature the group has gotten in delivering its carpe diem message.
This folky Four ballad saw the band take on some darker themes in their love songs as they sing about sticking with an empty relationship for the sake of feeling wanted. The ballad is one of 1D's most bittersweet.
"Fireproof" was the first song to be previewed from the band's Four and was initially released as a free download on the day they announced the album's name and cover art. The track was a great indicator that the band would stick with its most successful experimentation from Midnight Memories: adopting the influence of Seventies soft-rock. The sweet, harmonious track set a strong, confident tone for the album and for the bandmates as songwriters.
This Four deep cut has had quite an interesting life. The song was an immediate hit with Directioners, showing the group's most palpable musical maturity yet on the driving track. Fans were shocked when it wasn't chosen as a single and decided to take matters into their own hands by launching a social media campaign earlier this year to have the alt-pop track hit radio airwaves. In the end, they got "No Control" to trend worldwide and hit Number One on the Billboard Twitter Real-Time chart, where it held down the top spot for some time.
The catchy, quirky "Never Enough" is one of a few songs on Made in the A.M. to feature a writing credit from the band's lone Irishman Niall Horan, who takes an even bigger role on the LP than ever before. Beginning with some interesting vocal work from the group — that's slightly reminiscent of Blue Swede's "Hooked on a Feeling" — the song builds towards a massive, stadium-ready pop-rock chorus.
"Drag Me Down" was not only the lead single off of Made in the A.M., but it was also the group's first track without member Zayn Malik. You hardly notice the missing link on this feisty, power-pop banger that has the band going a little electro-rock and even more anthemic than the oft-intimate cuts on previous album Four.
The boys are no stranger to Fleetwood Mac's influence (see: "Fireproof"), but on the hypnotic "What a Feeling," the band goes full "Little Lies" as their harmonies sync up on the track. The Made in the A.M. song also has a nod to "Dreams" with its bass line, making for one of the smoothest and most retro songs on the album. "I was so mad when I first heard that song," recalls frequent 1D co-songwriter and producer Julian Bunetta. "I was so pissed off because the chorus was so good. I was just jealous. The harmonies on that song … I've had so many nights at my house having little dance parties to that song."