One Direction showing maturity on transitional Midnight Memories
The U.K.’s Metro reports British pop sensation One Direction’s third album, Midnight Memories, has become the fastest-selling album of the year so far. The band’s latest project for SycoColumbia Records has beaten the record previously held by Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, which sold 165,091 copies during its first week of sales. Midnight Memories moved 187,660 copies in its first week, buoyed by a “whopping 145,000 copies of the album sold within the first three days of its November 25 global release,” according to Music Week. The new album’s second single, ‘Story Of My Life,’ is currently No. 20 and No. 43 on the Mediabase Top 40 and Hot AC radio airplay charts, respectively.
One Direction celebrated the release of Midnight Memories with an intimate iHeartRadio Album Release Party at the 450-capacity iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles. Yahoo News reported the exclusive six-song show was streamed live and featured a barely audible Q&A with the screaming, squealing, primarily young tween girl audience.
Yahoo speculates that Midnight Memories might be an album that parents and their children can agree upon, adding that “If One Direction deliberately crafted a parent-friendly album here, then they're marketing geniuses ... but maybe they're just growing up and hoping to take their rapidly maturing teenage fans along with them.” There’s also a deluxe edition of the album that includes bonus music and a collectable package.
An album review by ABC News calls the new collection “music for now and now alone,” adding that it wonders if at times One Direction “even want to be remembered next week.” The track ‘Best Song Ever’ is labeled “too self-conscious, even if it is catchy.” Nonetheless, the smash hit single recently made history on VEVO by racking up the highest number of views (12.3 million) within 24 hours of its posting. What’s more, the music video for the single went on to win the Song of the Summer Award at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
In addition to calling Midnight Memories “bright pop at its brightest,’ the guitar-ballad ‘Story of My Life’ is lauded for having “some decent heft, even if it sounds a bit too polished to deliver the grit the composition itself demands.” ABC further notes there are “marked stabs at maturity” [on the album]. The track ‘Diana’ is said to owe more to the pop of the '80s than the boy bands of recent times [with] a “slight new wave streak” running through [the album’s] songs.
Comparisons to New Kids on the Block and Def Leppard are heaped on the title track's description as “one of those jaded songs about life on tour.” The song ‘You & I’ is called an example of “bland but passable balladry," and ‘Don't Forget Where You Belong’ “sounds like a variation on Snow Patrol.” The tracks ‘Strong,’ ‘Happily,’ and ‘Right Now’ are judged to be attempts to find “happy ground” between teen pop and adult alternative.
One Direction’s North American leg of their worldwide Where We Are 2014 stadium tour kicks off next summer on August 1 in Toronto’s Rogers Centre and concludes October 5 in Miami’s Sun Life Stadium. Other stops on the 21-city trek include New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Tampa. More recently, One Direction is the musical guest on the December 7 broadcast of Saturday Night Live.
Watch the official music video for ‘Story Of My Life,’ the lead single off New Direction’s third album titled Midnight Memories.
As A Matter of Fact…
* One Direction is an English-Irish pop music boy band based in London. Members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson first met in 2010 after being created on The X Factor UK.
* One Direction signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records in 2010 after finishing third in the seventh season of the British televised singing competition known as The X Factor.
* The group’s exposure on The X Factor combined with social media campaigns propelled One Direction to international stardom, becoming a $50 million business empire by June 2012, according to Sony Music Entertainment UK.
* Their first two albums—Up All Night (2011) and Take Me Home (2012)—topped the charts in most major markets and generated the hit singles ‘What Makes You Beautiful,’ ‘Live While We're Young,’ and ‘One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks).’
* One Direction has sold 19 million singles and 10 million albums. Their debut album Up All Night topped the album charts in 15 countries, becoming the first UK group to debut at No. 1 on U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.
* Additional achievements include two BRIT Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, and two American Music Awards in 2013 for Favorite Pop/Rock Group and Favorite Pop/Rock Album for Take Me Home.