Tag Archives: album

Album Review- FOUR by One Direction

FOUR is the aptly named fourth studio album released by One Direction, clearly drawing from music of the 80’s to give it an older sound. In terms of cohesiveness and maturity, it is better but still has room for improvement which can hopefully be seen in their next album. The gradual change in their sound from bubblegum pop has been beneficial to the X Factor alumni, possibly showing  the different direction the band could go in the future. Zayn Malik and Liam Payne are still the powerhouse singers of the group while Harry Styles’ voice seems to be in its comfort zone with this album. Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson who’ve previously been, for the most part, background vocalists with snippets of stanzas to sing have improved remarkably.

The first single off of the album, Steal My Girl, actually happens to be the least appealing track on the album with its ABBA inspired sound unfortunately draped under a thick veil of auto tune. Night Changes has been announced as the second single, a better choice compared to the previous one considering how it’s a well-harmonized ballad that truly showcases how strong the vocals of the group are.

Fireproof was the first song One Direction granted the public as a free download and upon hearing it, I was pleased to see the difference in their previous songs, with its laid back and relaxing vibe. Ready to Run employs the same chord progression as Story of My Life, sounding like a perfect song for an animated Disney movie ( I mean this in a nice way). Somehow it reminds me of Tarzan, when he and Jane are swinging around exploring the jungle, but that’s just me.

No Control is the group’s most lyrically provocative, singing about ‘loaded guns’ and what not but sadly it’s a sugary-rock coating to a song dripping with sexual innuendos. The highlight is hearing Tomlinson vocally drive the song.

Among the slow songs are Fool’s Gold and Spaces, where Horan shines. FOUR features another song from Ed Sheeran. The Brit singer penning a song for One Direction has proven to be a fool-proof combination as was proved by Moments, Little Things and Over Again. This time the song is called 18, surpassing the other songs to be one of the best on the album.

On the antipodal end, the catchy, upbeat tunes are Girl Almighty, Clouds, Stockholm Syndrome and Where Do Broken Hearts Go, the latter two being written by Styles which is commendable. Stockholm Syndrome is according to him “about a nympho” and the actual syndrome itself i.e developing an emotional connection to your captor or kidnapper. It’s as dark as they’ve ever gone albeit only the surface. Where Do Broken Hearts Go isn’t the sappy ballad it sounds like but has a rock tone to it. Girl Almighty, I feel, might be underrated when it comes to the whole but should not be underestimated. Finally, Clouds makes a nice end to the album, leaving on a positive note.

On the deluxe album, there are four bonus tracks called Illusion, Change Your Ticket, Once in a Lifetime and Act My Age. I have always found that the bonus songs are sometimes better than the tracks that made it onto the actual album when it comes to One Direction and FOUR once again proves me right in this line of thinking. Once in a Lifetime and Illusion may be a bit sappy but are still good songs. However, they pale in comparison to the rather bombastic Act My Age which sounds like a cocktail of Irish folk rock and a pirate theme song that you could sing along in a pub in an intoxicated state. Change Your Ticket is one of my favourite tracks and I firmly believe it should have taken Steal My Girl’s place on the album, especially because of its resemblance to The 1975’s sound (particularly the guitar).

Overall, I feel that this album is miles ahead of the previous ones and is one step further in One Direction bright career ahead.

Music Review- The 1975

I’ve been listening to this album for a while now and it’s the best thing to listen to when writing, blogging or reading so I thought I’d write a review!

First off, The 1975 is a Manchester-based alternative/indie-rock band consisting of  Matthew Healy (vocals, guitar), Adam Hann (guitar), George Daniel (drums), and Ross MacDonald (bass).

The band is extremely talented, with Matt Healy’s unique vocals adding to their fantastic sound. In an era where pop culture dominates the Top 40 and iPods across the world,  The 1975 prove a point of their own: undiscovered gems or underrated musicians are the ones you ought to listen to, although at the rate they’re rising, they won’t be underrated any longer.

Massively popular in the UK, they are now touring with The Neighbourhood as their opening act. I’ve heard that The 1975 put on a great live show, blowing away the minds of the audience in the span of a few hours, not many complaining. All that without dancing half naked or choreographed dancing, how about that. No wonder because their eponymous, debut album is unwavering in musical quality, letting their music do all the talking.

Having a 1980’s sound, I particularly enjoyed listening to these songs off the album:

Chocolate

Their catchiest song by far, Chocolate is the notorious single that stole its fair share of attention from many listeners. A radio favourite, it is an upbeat tune with a dark undertone of a meaning beneath it. Chocolate is in fact, not chocolate at all and the euphemism-ridden lyrics about guns hidden under petticoats, a car smelling of chocolate and running away from the boys in the blue make for lyrical and hidden entertainment. Really listen to the lyrics and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

The City

Unlike everyone else who fell in love with this band over Chocolate, I discovered them by listening to The City. This one is more of drum based track, inspiring listeners to take some chances which will relate to those of us who are still trying to figure everything and ourselves out.

Healy explained, “It’s a love song I suppose – a love letter to the baffling cacophony that is teenage self exploration in places loud and inspiring.”

Just like the song’s lyric ‘If you want to find love, then you where the city is’ the same applies to the album. If you want to find good music, then you know where the album link is.

She Way Out

Although music critics have pegged this song down on account of its repetitiveness, I find it enjoyable for that very reason. This tune is a clear daylight example of what music in the 80’s would sound if it were infused with modernity. She Way Out is an up beat track like Chocolate; a pop injection about a girl with ‘a two-tone everything’ and ‘a face from a movie scene’.

Settle Down is another of my favourites, written based on Healy’s obsession with Michael Jackson, ultimately about the nonsensical dynamics of relationships, addictive and possessing.

Girls is a colourful song discrediting the significance of infatuation claiming, “They’re just girls.” On the other hand, Robbers is  an eerie and haunting tone, unique when compared to the rest of the tracks off the album.