The recently released album from the popular boy band, One Direction, has hit the stores just in time for all of the hormonal teenage girls to add to their wish list this holiday season. Admittedly, I am one of those people, although not hormonal or a girl. But I am a fan of theirs. With this in mind and their recent tour announcement with a stop in Milwaukee at Miller Park on August 25, it’s only appropriate to review their newest album, FOUR.
1. Steal My Girl – One of the singles off the album, it’s a good one to start off with. The uplifting piano melody and “Na-nas” during the chorus are a recipe for positivity. As cliché and cheesy as it sounds, the overall message that I’m getting from this song is to have fun care less about what others think. Their zany music video for the song also stars Danny DeVito. If you have yet to see it, do so now. It’s weird, but in a good way.
2. Ready to Run – Since we have all probably heard “Steal My Girl” on the radio probably a thousand times already, this is what I would call the real opening track to the album. My favorite part about this one are the harmonious, angelic “ahs” heard from the boys. The lyrics in the chorus are empowering and get me motivated to do something productive with my life. “This time I’m ready to run/ Escape from this city and follow the sun/ ‘Cause I wanna be yours, don’t you wanna be mine/ I don’t wanna get lost in the dark of the night/ This time I’m ready to run/ Wherever you are is the place I belong/ ‘Cause I wanna be free and I wanna be young/ I’ll never look back now/ I’m ready to run.”
3. Where Do Broken Hearts Go – Ah yes, that “one” song about getting over a relationship. However, this is not your typical “getting over someone” song. The song is more upbeat and soulful without the looming sadness of the breakup theme. The message here is that breakups are not really all that bad. You will get over it, eventually. Why not sooner than later? This fresh perspective is exactly what I like about this song.
4. 18 – A One Direction album is not okay without at least one ballad. It’s is an ode to the younger years, age 18 to be exact. Originally written by the band’s good friend Ed Sheeran, this song hits the emotions hard with nostalgia for the past. The repeating lyric, “I want a love like you made me feel when were 18,” really says it all for this number.
5. Girl Almighty – Alright, that’s enough pulling on the heartstrings for now. “Girl Almighty” is a lot like “Ready to Run” in that it sends out this positive message of sticking up for a person. It’s so inspirational. Five songs deep into the album and I can already tell the amount of positive messages that are laden throughout each track.
6. Fool’s Gold – This number is a tear-jerker. I may have bawled my eyes out listening to it. Okay, I’m being dramatic. The bottom line though is if they do play this in Milwaukee next summer, I will probably cry buckets of tears. But do not worry, they will be tears of joy because the lyrics in the chorus are so touching, “And yeah, I let you use me from the day that we first met/ But I’m not done yet falling for you, fool’s gold/ And I knew that you turned it on for everyone you met/ But I don’t regret, falling for you, fool’s gold.”
7. Night Changes – Another single off the album, it’s definitely a favorite. The music video made me love it even more. Each member of the band take a girl out on a date doing cheesy, cutesy things like going out for dinner, hanging out at an amusement park, ice skating, playing Monopoly fireside, and going for a ride in the countryside. The music video has you thinking everything’s going to end well, but the dates go horribly wrong instead.
8. No Control – I can definitely hear the 80s rock inspiration in this track. With lyrics like, “Powerless and I don’t care it’s obvious/ I just can’t get enough of you,” it will make fangirls wish they had a relationship like the one described in this song. If not that, at least make them want to jump up and down dancing like a maniac.
9. Fireproof – The band decided to release this song for free many months before the release of the album. It’s an obvious favorite for this reason. But it really takes its place as a favorite with its spot-on harmonies and falsetto that are guaranteed to please.
10. Spaces – The theme of rock ballads throughout is clear with the addition of “Spaces.” But this particular ballad showcases each member’s voice very well. With slow songs like these, it’s hard not to break out that cigarette lighter or cell phone light and sway it back and forth. At one point, the music stops leaving only vocals, and those vocals do not disappoint.
11. Stockholm Syndrome – I do not want to pick favorites, but this is definitely my favorite off the album. Everything about it is great: the beat, the melody, the vocals. With lyrics like, “Who’s that shadow holding me hostage? I’ve been here for days/ Who’s this whisper telling me that I’m never gonna get away,” and an insanely catchy chorus make for an overall well-done track.
12. Clouds – The original album ends with this song and it is an appropriate closing track. Like in many of their songs, the verses feature a single member and the chorus is everyone together, which seems fitting to end with. The quintessential “ahs” the boys spout out near the end wrap up the song and the album as a whole.
13. Change Your Ticket – There’s more though! The deluxe version features four extra songs and kicks off with “Change Your Ticket.” Almost like the encore in a concert, this one is just right for an extra song. The lyrics, “You should probably stay, probably stay a couple more days/ Come on let me change your ticket home,” will have you staying for more and also probably wanting more. And they give you more.
14. Illusion – This song speaks of the last ditch effort to get the girl. If you’re looking for that cheesy, but cute song about guys confessing their love for girls, it’s this one.
15. Once in a Lifetime – Another slower song rounds out the bonus track section. And yes, it’s another swaying song. With the repeating lyric, “You are by my side,” it is hard not to close your eyes and feel the music while swaying along to the beat.
16. Act My Age – If you think One Direction would end on a sad note, you are mistaken. The final bonus track is very peppy and makes me want to do an Irish jig. The contrasting hyped verses and ballad like choruses are a reminder that the band still takes things seriously, but like to have fun every once and awhile.
Overall, the album has someone for everyone with a contrast of melancholy and amped-up tunes. With it being their fourth album, there is a definite mature vibe to this album. Before it was released, I had worries that it was going to be a forced sound, since they released Midnight Memories almost exactly a year ago. Fortunately, the boys proved me wrong.