Yesterday, One Direction held a #1DListeningParty to preview their 5th album, Made In The A.M. for fans across the United States.
I was able to attend the one in Alexandria, VA, and I am happy to report that I am IN LOVE with this album. I wish I had a copy of it in my hands right now to listen to on repeat. MITAM comes out on November 13, and has some stiff competition as Justin Bieber is also releasing his newest album the same day.
At the listening party, which was held at a movie theater, we had to leave our phones behind, but I took copious amounts of handwritten notes on each track because in a genius move, they showed clips of the boys talking about the writing process for each song before it played. They also showed unseen, behind the scenes footage from shows, music videos, and fan gatherings. It was an really fun event, and it was great to hear the album first surrounded by fangirls and boys alike. If you want to know my thoughts, as well as what the boys said about each track, keep reading!
1. Hey Angel
Harry said this was the first track because it was the right way to set the tone for the album, and called it this album’s, Clouds which I actually disagree with because the song is a bit softer and more melancholy than Clouds. I would compare it to Oasis or Bittersweet Symphony. Harry hits a note in the second verse that will make you see Jesus though.
2. Drag Me Down
Liam said they were first told the song was like a mix of Taio Cruz and Maroon 5 which made them all go, “WTF?!” before they heard it, and weren’t really sure how they felt about it right off the bat, but then they loved it. To date, it’s probably my favorite single they’ve released.
Harry said it’s a love song that’s not romantic. I didn’t write many notes for this song as it’s their current single, and we all know what it sounds like.
Louis said this was played on the first day of writing and it was the most epic song they have. He said it’s a song to be proud of. Harry said that he loves that it’s on the album and he’s also really proud of it. While this wasn’t an initial favorite for me, hearing it in the theater made me like it a lot more. It’s a pretty solid ballad, with really beautiful lyrics.
5. End of the Day
Louis described this as a song that keeps you on your toes, and the chorus really gets you. He said the first part of the song is in full time, and there is an increase in tempo for the second verse that makes it half time.
The problem I had here was once it went to half time, I wanted it to stay half time, but it goes back to full time for the chorus and I didn’t like that.
The song has a very Queen sounding guitar at the end, and I really loved the bridge which features Louis with Liam over top.
Harry starts the song with “she” pronouns, but after his lines, it goes back to gender neutral. Overall, a decent song, but not a fave.
6. If I Could Fly
This is literally, one of the most beautiful, and romantic love songs I’ve ever heard. They showed a lot of fetus Direction footage during this song, including a lot of fetus Larry footage, and it made us all emotional.
Harry said he wrote this with the same writer he worked with for the Ariana Grande song he wrote for her album.
Liam said maybe the most interesting thing of the whole interview which was, though they split up for writing, and he and Louis write together a lot, he finds it MOST interesting to see what HARRY comes back with because he works with “some sick people.”
Harry starts the song and I died. Louis comes for a verse and I died again. One of the lyrics, is “for your eyes only, I’ll show you my heart. I’m missing half of me when we’re apart” RIP me.
Harry also hits a high note that made my heart fall out my butt.
It’s a STUNNING love song. I’m like, in awe.
7. Long Way Down
Liam said this relates to the band even though it’s sad (cough) Zayn (cough). He said it’s about being at the top of fame right now and coming down from that. He said it’s hard o break away from a long relationship. John told them to get gritty with their vocals and try to sound more like Bruce/The Boss, according to Niall.
The sound is like they took Fool’s Gold, and built on it. The chorus is just a touch country sounding.
This was extra emotional because the footage they showed during this song was from the 1st show after Zayn said he was taking a break, and the 1st show after he said he was done.
In my opinion, this was their song about Zayn leaving.
8. Never Enough
This was Niall’s favorite. He said they were in Chicago, and used Chicago session musicians who did the trumpets and trombone on for it. They showed the Detroit/Liam’s birthday BTS video during it. This was also the song that got leaked from one of their song writer’s hotel room. Which, Niall mentioned, because of the horns in the song, they would often play it at parties or for people to see what they thought, so no surprise it was getting played at the hotel.
Harry said it’s one of his faves because it’s so different. He said it sounds, “old” and they recorded the strings at Abbey Road. It took the least time to write because it basically wrote itself.
Harry also noted Olivia COULD be about a girl, but it could also be about a place – it can be about anything you want. It’s about taking an emotion or situation and personifying it.
The overall vibe is very Beatles/Sgt Pepper-esque. In fact there is even a Willy Wonka (youuuu’re imaginaaaaation) sounding bit to it. The “The summertime, and butterflies, all belong to your creation.” Tweet from Harry is from this song.
10. What A Feeling
Louis said this is very Fleetwood Mac-like. It’s a take a drive, and ride with the top down in your car feeling like a Chief song. (Super specific Lewis)
There is a repetition of the phrase, “through the wire” which reminded me of Chaka Khan’s song which Kanye later sampled. It sounds very familiar to Dream by Fleetwood Mac. It’s almost like a fast-tempo Fireproof. It’s what I wanted Fireproof to be, and for me, makes up what was lacking for me in that song. A friend pointed out there is even a bit that sounds like the musical Hamilton that takes the same tone of, “How lucky we are to be alive right now,” which I agree with because Hamilton is the shit, and we will make all the references we can.
11. Love You Goodbye
Flat out, this song is about breakup sex. That’s it. What the lyrics are and what Louis said in the interview contradict a bit. Louis said in the interview, this was the most personal to him and the idea is interesting, a time when you have to see your ex again. There are lines like, “even though it’s over stay the night.” “Give it to me one last time, let me love you goodbye” AKA let’s bang before it’s REALLY over.
Louis also has a WONDERFULLY HUGE note on the bridge.
12. I Want To Write You A Song
Liam said he always wanted to write a song like this. The background sounds in the song is someone writing on paper. He said he recorded his parts at like 4am in Chicago and his voice was shot but they wanted to keep the sound because they liked it. They showed the TMH cover shoot BTS video for this (so yes you saw a couple shots of Zayn).
In this song is where you get the lyric “I want to build you a boat so every time you think your heart will sink it won’t, I want to build you a boat” that was running around twitter the other day, and other such boat/nautical references.
It reminded me a lot of The Plain White T’s.
I personally, LOVE this song. Niall said it’s one of their best, a very “Sitting On The Dock Of Tthe Bay” song. It’s the history between them and the fans/crew for the last 5 years. Louis said it has a lot of meaning and is the perfect song. And for them to give it to the fans means they get to make us a part of it.
They showed fan footage (like crowd shots, and fans at signings and what not from UAN to OTRA and everything in between and it was awesome. A lot of repetition of “this is not the end” in the song. It most definitely has an old school soul vibe like Niall said, with the Otis Redding sound.
14. Temporary Fix
Niall wrote this with a few people and this is literally a song about a one night stand. He said the other writers asked him what was missing from the album and he said a rock song like “Sex On Fire”. He wanted a love song with some dirt.
He said it’s about a girl in a bar who is stuck talking to someone they don’t want to be talking to and you swoop in and save her. There is a line in it that says, “let me be your goodnight.” It sounds a lot like Poison’s Don’t Need Nothing But A Good Time. I really like this one as well because it’s just a good overall tune.
15. Walking In The Wind
Harry said the inspiration was Graceland by Paul Simon and you can totally hear it. The verses are conversational instead of melodic, and the pre-chorus is really smooth. It has a similar sound to Vampire Weekend as well.
Liam said this is about being in a club with your girl and all these dudes are trying to get with her and you’ve gotta be like back off, she’s with me. They hit some collective high notes in part of it to make it sound like a wolf howling. It’s a fun song.
Niall said this came out of a lot of the sessions being done late at night, and we get the first swearing of One Direction, “talking out of our asses.” Woohoo!
Harry concluded by saying that this was the first time they really sat down a month or so before writing and really talked out what they wanted, and they were all on the same page, and they had a goal in mind, and when the album was done, they achieved that goal.
This album is super cohesive to me, compared to others. You could tell they weren’t writing for stadiums – no big loud rocky songs – it’s more chill, more vibey. I like it A LOT, and cannot wait for the public to hear it. I think they each impressed each other with the writing they did and what they produced, and I genuinely think they are very proud of this album.
I am very proud of this album just as a fan, and though these boys are taking a well deserved break in 2016, I cannot wait to hear what they come up with next.