IT’S BACK: My live review of One Direction’s “Midnight Memories”
by Meridith Messier on December 9, 2013
Posted in: Album Review, Comedy, Pop
I originally posted this a few days ago with a lengthy introduction but I took it down because of its many typos. Now it’s back and the only introduction I’m giving it is that at my house back home there are all five One Direction dolls on the premise and since writing this a week ago I have listened to the song “Little White Lies” around 300 times.
1. Best Song Ever- This summer, I watched the VMAs live for the first time since I was, like, 13. I don’t know why but thank god I did because 1. I got to participate in watching that Miley Cyrus train wreck/ cultural landmark LIVE 2. I got introduced to ‘Best Song Ever’ which won video of the year despite the fact that I, the princess of pop culture, had never heard it. FOR SHAME. I promptly listened to it a billion times and realized that I needed to make up for lost time. I made my brother and sister, ages 10 and 8, go to the 1D Movie with me; neither was as excited as I was. My brother didn’t want to go because he was worried his friends would make fun of him for seeing it. I told him that my friends make fun of almost everything I like and I made him go anyway. I believe they call a moment like this a “conversion.” The beginning sounds like Baba O’Riley! Fall Out Boy pulled that trick once and I didn’t realize it- but you can’t fool me twice! I am an amateur runner (aka I go to the gym when I feel like it) and I have run MILES because of this song.
2. Story of My Life- This song has a really horrific music video with effects that are borderline unforgivable- plus, it makes one of the one directions look like he is in a relationship with his sister. They put a little too much faith in my recognition of 1D family members to pull something like that off. The song is borderline too slow for me to like it- there are only a few ballads by 1D that I will put up with because I am over the age of 14 and I try to draw the line somewhere. But the chorus is really catchy and it’s real to hear the 1D’s talk about how they can be the ones at fault in relationships. I wonder how Zayn, the engaged one, feels about this. I think he’s the one with the incest predicament in the video. Anyways, this is basically a Drake song (see “Connect”.)
3. Diana- Omg the beginning of this song is insane. Omg now it’s all bouncy. They’re talking about newspaper clips-Is this about Princess Diana???? Oh no it’s definitely not- but it’s GOOD. A little mid-tempo for my taste but that bounce. One of them just said he “speaks a different language”- what does that mean??? This song gets old kind of fast. I would not be able to run to it so that’s strike two. get back to me after I’ve driven with the top down in the summer while listening to this, or something. Also- WHO IS DIANA??? Is this supposed to be a Beatlesque thing? Using the girl’s name?
4. Midnight Memories- YEP THIS IS IT. YES I LIKE THIS EVEN THOUGH YOU JUST SAID “Shh” instead of “shit.” MIDNIIIIGHT MEMOOOOORIEEESSSSS. FIVE FOOT SOMETHING WITH THE SKINNY JEANS IS ME OK??? YEP 1D SWAGGER YOU JUST DID THAT “shh” THING AGAIN BUT I FORGIVE YOU 1D. KEEP PANTING. PLAY THIS ON MY 21st BIRTHDAY FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT. That breakdown sounds like “Rock Me” aka the best One Direction song of all time so I APPROVE.
5. You & I- I think this song was a Goo Goo Dolls reject. I don’t know if I can listen to the whole thing. Nope, I can’t.
6. Don’t Forget Where You Belong- This has a bizarrely domineering title for a One Direction song. BEEN A LOT OF PLACES SEEN A LOT OF FACES. DO THEY EVEN KNOW ABOUT LIL KIM? It’s a done deal- this song is A+. Wow I will probably cry to this song at some point in the next six months while I’m abroad and never tell anybody about it. As my friend Gabby said, “IT’S ABOUT HOW MUCH THEY LOVE EACH OTHER” and about 70% of my 1D love comes from loving how much they are all in love. Shout out to all of my friends. This one goes out to you ~ 4ever~
7. Strong- Ugh, 1D, how are you so hot and cold? I’m sorry but this is so basic. A spotify ad for “Reflektor” just came up. Is this a cosmic sign? A symbol of the reflectivity of the hollowness of my own life and the song? Cookies on my browser? Next, please.
8. Happily- Oh my god this sounds like something and I can’t think of what. Pausing the song. Humming the melody over and over- OH If you hum the pre-chorus over and over it starts to sound like part of that song “Falling Slowly” from Once. This is kind of a Mumford and Sons knock-off? But it’s not as bad as that sounds. I couldn’t run to this song, but if it came on in the car I probably wouldn’t skip it because the “Oh Oh Oh” breakdown bit is somewhat redemptive.
9. Right Now- Do all 1D songs just sound like other songs? (yes, this is pop music) The beginning of this one sounds like “Wrecking Ball” but instead of sounding like an 80s power ballad aka the soundtrack to my life, this is boring. Ugh, 1D you better redeem yourself soon because I’m skipping this one.
10. Little Black Dress- Yo! This could be a pop punk song. Lots of girls with bangs could cover this on acoustic guitars and make it a lesbian love song. This is my favorite One Direction mode- cocky and singing about liking girls not being weepy about them. Wait, this song has a really cool structure. I like this song a lot! Not even just for One Direction standards. If there was one singer instead of 5 and had a little more grit this could be an flash-in-the-pan alt-radio hit. You done good, boys.
11. Through the Dark- At first I was like “WHATEVER MID TEMPO SONG THAT IS BASICALLY A SLOW SONG” but this is the best slow song that’s been on the album yet. I would let this song play in the car while driving through snowy countryside in that way that I let myself take pinterest-worthy pictures on instagram to prove that I can do whatever I want even when it’s cute and embarrassing and gross.
12. Something Great- What a basic song title. I don’t care about this song. Where are the fast songs???? I can’t run to over half of this album. The harmonies at the end are sweet. The rest is garbage.
13. Little White Lies- YEP HARMONIES YEP 80s YEP. OH MY GOD THIS SONG IS A JAM. MORE SYNTH LESS SLOW. OMG BREAKDOWN IN THE CHORUS. I want this song to blow up. Oh there’s the good girl dichotomy- can we get over that? But 1D I am a good girl and you know I would girl, so I guess I can’t deny too much. YOU KNOW I WANT IT. YEP. One day 1D will not use a euphemism and I will die from the impact. This is the best song on the album. I would buy 13 tracks of this.
14. Better Than Words- Is this sampling something? Its sounds like the bit before Fergie’s heinous verse in “All of the Lights.” What if Kanye and One Direction did a collab? That’d be pretty subversive and cool, right? Cooler than this track at least. I am left lukewarm by the final offering on “Midnight Memories.” Oh wow now they’re name-dropping a bunch of songs like “Best I Ever Had” and “Irreplacable”- these are allusions right? Not mad basic lyrics? This song is kind of growing on me. But it was dumb to put it after the glory that was “Little White Lies”
Overall, I agree with what wikipedia says that some critics said: this album is “forgettable” and “not special.” But, I’m not angry because, as Kanye west taught us, one good chick is worth a thousand chickens, which I think in this situation means “Little White Lies” is worth the trillion dollars that this album will make. I will run miles on miles to that song and that’s really all I asked for.
Note: The bonus track “Does He Know?” sounds like Jessie’s Girl and I am now 10000% convinced that One Direction should be an 80s cover band/ take the new wave route. “Alive” is good too. These should have replaced those dumb slow songs.