I’m fairly certain I have something of a Benjamin Button complex. I was 60 before I was 16. Have you ever heard that expression? It’s one of my very favorites and fits me perfectly. I used to be a grumpy old man. (Mind you, I’m barely 24.) As time progresses, though, I finally feel like a youth. I’m a hoot and a half now. In the past, I would not listen to pop music. I would not support trends. I’d be gloomy for some reason and think of myself as rather antiestablishment. Lord Beysus, I was a loser. Not anymore. Life’s more fun now. When I finally die, I have every expectation to do so in some glorious and distastefully young way. At the club, maybe?
Because I’m so very young and so very hip, I have a passion for One Direction. We’ve discussed it all before — my introduction to them, the time I spent at their concert, the ensuing madness that gripped me and has since refused to relinquish its firm hold. Why listen to any other music than One Direction? Why stare at anybody else But Zayn and Louis and Harry and Liam and Niall? Why do anything that doesn’t involve the boys?
I’m thrilled that I FINALLY get to listen to their new album, Midnight Memories. I totally did NOT listen to the leak when it leaked. (Why do we say that an album leaked? They aren’t a fluid. Accidentally released is more accurate, but leaked sounds more fun.) So, now that the album is out and all of us fangirls can listen, I thought I’d do a track-by-track review, because why not. And because this:
1. Best Song Ever
Do you remember where you were when you first heard One Direction’s triumph, “Best Song Ever”? I think it will be one of the fundamental cultural markers of my generation. Comment where you were below! I was in an exceptionally expensive robe at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, dancing around whilst trying not to spill my extraordinarily expensive coffee. It was a moment, reader, a deeply important moment in my life, forever emblazoned in my mind as the highlight of my summer 2013. Picture it: me + the boys + surrounded by old Hollywood glamour + robe. It was perfection. (Actually, it was the morning after the header picture on the top of this site. You can easily picture it now.) Now, the song itself…kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t know, because I don’t understand the rules of irony, but the title might be ironic since this is actually one of the BEST SONGS of ALL TIME. I love it. It’s perfection and the perfect transition to their newly evolved sound. (Oh, and remember that one time when Jessica had never heard this song before and we were in Las Vegas at their concert and I out-sung her. LOLz.)
2. Story Of My Life
I wasn’t sure what to think the first time I heard this track. It was such a pointed departure from their pop tart past, but it’s grown on me tremendously. Still, I don’t understand what Liam is talking about with some light on a hill or an ear? That’s unimportant, though. What is important is Zayn’s flawless voice. Gurl, when he sings…things happen. The chorus builds itself beautifully and becomes wonderfully monstrous at the climax with Harry belting out the lyrics with alarming perfection. The boys are not one-shot-wonders. THEY ARE TALENTED SINGERS, NAY, ARTISTS. Quite a sad song, though, it seems to be about the boys ruining a girl’s love. They still sound beautiful. So…whatever.
This song confuses me, too, because at points it seems to be about a kidnapped woman who is forgotten by the public and then at other times about a romance starring a lady named Diana. Still, the story is unimportant when the chorus has such a fun hook! The boys want to find her and fall in love with her…but she speaks a different language? Not my favorite track on the album, but it’s going to be a delight during their stadium tour. [August 29, Soldier Field, Chicago — I’LL BE THERE.]
4. Midnight Memories
This is…dare I say it?…one of my very favorite songs of this album. The boys get a bit rocky with loads of guitars and lots of drums and they talk about going to hotels and stuff like that. There’s parties and a bunch of nonsense, but then it turns poppy and the chorus hits and I’m like #swooning. “Midnight memories, baby you and me, stumbling in the street, singing’ singing’ singing’.” It’s like a biography of me. Have you ever been tipsy in a foreign city and singing in the street? No? I recommend it. Quite a good time. Oh! And then there’s stomping and clamping and I can’t! I think this is my new go-to karaoke jam, guys.
5. You And I
ERMAHGERD, A BALLAD! Sing to me, boys! “You and I, we don’t wanna be like them, we can make it til’ the end, nothing can come between you and I.” WEEPING. Lord Beysus, when did their voices become so flawless? They were always musical angels, but this is ridiculous. The beat drops and the guitars come out and I just want to light candles and weep into my One Direction pillow as Zayn’s stunning falsetto flies about the room. (I totally have a One Direction pillow, too. Jealous?)
6. Don’t Forget Where You Belong
This is it. My favorite song. The best song the boys have ever done and I’m including their masterpiece, “Stole My Heart,” which I’m deeply in love with. It’s all about their travels and the wonderful time they’ve had, but knowing that home is the most important place. I don’t truly follow this sentiment, since I’m home wherever I am, but for some people, I can understand how deeply this idea must touch them. But guys, the chorus. Pure boy band goodness. “Don’t forget where you belong. If you ever feel alone, don’t. You were never on your own.” They’re singing straight to our heart, reader. They’re perfect. We’ll never find somebody as good as them. JUST GIVE UP. Oh Jesus, they’re stomping again. HURRY UP, STADIUM TOUR! I’m going to pass out. The following situations will happen to me:
Okay, we’re not going to talk about the opening lyrics about hands being tied up like ships, because that doesn’t make sense. Nonsensical lyrics are kind of a cornerstone of a good 1D song, though. This is a wondrous track about telling the person you’re in love with that you need them because they complete you and make you feel STRONG. “I’m sorry if I say I need ya.” BOYS, ANY OF YOU CAN TELL ME YOU NEED ME. I’M HERE FOR YOU. XXXXXXXXXOX, BEN
They’re so folksy, guys! Listen to their drums and shouts and guitars! “We’re on fire, we are on fire, we’re on fire now.” CAREFUL BOYS! There’s a fire in my heart for you. In fact, I have a valentine just for you:
“And if he feels my traces in your hair, I’m sorry love, but I don’t really care.” Okay, I don’t actually know what that means. What traces are you leaving in this poor person’s hair? Don’t care. Leave anything you want in my hair. Not my favorite on the album.
9. Right Now
Another triumph, guys. The chorus has been stuck in my head for the past week! Wait, I mean hour? Because I DIDN’T LISTEN TO THE LEAK. Such soaring falsettos. Such a powerful chorus. “Right now, I wish you were with me! Cause right now, everything is new to me!” I wish you were here with me, too! Oh, it’s beautiful. It’s all about new feelings and wanting to explore and understand them. Oh, you wonderful, sensitive boys.
10. Little Black Dress
This one is also an incredibly strong contender for the esteemed position of BEN’S FAVORITE SONG. It’s unlike anything they’ve ever done. Rock and guitars and grunge. Loves it. It’s all about looking at a girl in a little black dress and totally lusting over her. Guys, I wear a lot of black, too. You can look at me all you want. “I wanna see the way you move for me, baby!” BOYS! Naughty! Keep singing. I hope their next album continues in this vein. I’ve been dancing around my kitchen with it on repeat.
11. Through The Dark
Can’t lie. This one kind of bores me. SORRY. It kind of feels like four other songs that are already on the album, even though the chorus is fun. Just not into it. DON’T STOP LOVING ME, BOYS. I’m not saying you can’t sing it to me a cappella in a cozy cabin where…uh-oh, the power’s gone out and we only have candlelight and wine and our bodies to keep us warm. Oops…there’s only one sleeping bag.
12. Something Great
More of this guitar, folksy kind of thing. There’s just a bit too much of it. No real problem with it, it just kind of overwhelms you into thinking every song is the same thing, but it also helps to create a cohesive oeuvre, so, I’m not entirely sure what I think. This song is better than the last. “I want you here with me, like how I pictured it, so I don’t have to keep imagining.” Deep, boys, very deep. Quite poignant for those in love, I’m sure.
13. Little White Lies
YES, finally getting away from all the ballads! “If this world was burning, I wouldn’t even notice.” That’s how Zayn and I felt that magical night in Vegas where our eyes locked. Remember it? READ THIS if you need a refresher. Great beat, love when it drops out, makes me want to dance. I was chatting with a girl at the concert and she said that you can’t really twerk to 1D’s songs. True. This one, you could almost, almost, twerk to if you were desperate to twerk. I often have the desperate urge to twerk. This is a catchy ditty, much applause, gents.
14. Better Than Words
Hooray! Another stadium banger. It’s gorgeous with synthesizers and the boys shouting, “OWW!” in the background. I love a good shout. “There’s no way I can explain your love. Ahhhh ooooooh!” Poetry. Genius. This is a fun song, I enjoy skipping to it on the treadmill. There’s a quality part with one of the boys saying OOOOOOOO in a gorgeous falsetto. Every time they do that, my heart melts. They’re like musical wolves.
15. Why Don’t We Go There?
These tracks should have been better interspersed within the middle of the album. FUN POP! “We got all night. Why don’t we go there? Let’s take a ride, out in the cold air, I know the way, why don’t you go there with me?” I’d go anywhere with any of them. Anybody with half a brain would. I mean, wouldn’t you just die if you were driving around the city with Zayn or Louis or Harry? I’d die. I’d just die. A different experience with each, I’m sure. I’ll take a ride with all three.
16. Does He Know?
This song is about a person with a secret tattoo and how the boys know them better than their boyfriend. They know all about the music they like and stuff that’s important like their mood swings and favorite songs. What dummy wouldn’t dump their boyfriend for one of the boys? I’d shove mine off a cliff (if I had one, LOLz forever alone) for a single date. A lovely track!
I live for this song! “My mother told me I should go and get some therapy…I don’t know why I wanna be with every girl I meet.” Obviously, every girl is a very subtle pseudonym for me. It’s rocky again and I love it. Makes me want to wear a leather jacket and smoke cigarettes and jump around in grungy clubs and take whiskey shots with the boys. “I said, hey, it’s alight, does it make you feel alive?” It’s a genius song about doing what you want to do, if it’s only for a night, if it’s only for a minute, but do what you want to do! “We’ve gotta live before we get older!” Yes, boys, YASSSSSS.
18. Half A Heart
This song starts with somebody sleeping with a sweater that used to belong to one of the boys. Even if I was dating them, I’d have that shit up on eBay in two minutes. Boy has to make a living, you know? Can you imagine that auction? Then Zayn sings about only having one shoe and half an arrow in his chest and I’m really worried because he should get to hospital. Only one shoe? Pneumonia. An arrow in his chest? Surely that’s punctured a lung? Oh God, Oh Jesus, they’re talking about having lunch by the river and chatting the day away. I WANT NOTHING MORE THAN THAT IN MY LIFE. Let’s go to the river, boys, let’s relax and chat and eat and then go make out. Yes?
The album is wonderful guys. I’ve had it on repeat for
days hours and I’ve only fallen more and more in love with it. Their sound has evolved and matured into something quite spectacular. In fact, this is one of the finest offerings ever put up by a boy band. As a new fan or an old fan, you won’t be disappointed. And while some of the songs become a bit monotonous with similar instrumentation, there’s still plenty of diverse tracks to enjoy.
Make sure you listen to: Midnight Memories, Don’t Forget Where You Belong, Right Now, Little Black Dress, and Alive.
Hooray for One Direction. Hooray for us! HOORAY FOR THE WORLD!
PS: Will somebody please send me the Burberry top that Harry wore to their film premiere? Cheers, thanks a lot.