therapy//all time low / landfill//daughter / pieces//sum 41 / moments//one direction / adam's song//blink 182 / invisible//skylar grey/ me//the 1975 / breathe me//sia / the boy who blocked his own shot//brand new/ high and dry//radiohead / these four walls//little mix / possibility//lykke li / the past//never shout never / give me love//ed sheeran / alibis//marianas trench / run//snow patrol / sleeping sickness//city and colour / lullabies//all time low / 9 crimes//damien rice / numb//linkin park
part II: for when you need motivation to keep going
stay alive//josé gonzález / look after you//louis tomlinson / warrior//demi lovato / keep your head up//ben howard / stay awake (dreams only last for a night)//all time low / through the dark//one direction / f**kin' perfect//p!nk / invincible//hedley / fix you//coldplay / thequiet things that no one ever knows (acoustic)//brand new / champagne supernova//oasis / take care//beach house / i will follow you into the dark//death cab for cutie / just the little things//one direction & bruno mars / good enough//little mix / don't let me go//sam mccarthy feat. harry styles / i am not a robot//marina and the diamonds
part III: for when you're ready to be happy again
horchata//vampire weekend / best day of my life//american authors / happy//pharrell williams / why don't we go there//one direction / sail into the sun//gentlemen hall / on our way//the royal concept / ready or not//bridget mendler / this is an adventure//the lighthouse and the whaler / wings//little mix / say it just say it//the mowgli's / wild heart//the vamps / unpredictable//5 seconds of summer / two fingers//jake bugg / weightless//all time low / chloe (you're the one i want)//emblem3 / little games//the colourist / woodland//the paper kites / dance with me tonight//olly murs
a mix of slow, sad love songs for the couple that are always on my mind
i. this love - taylor swift / ii. teenage dream - darren criss (katy perry cover) / iii. don’t let me go - harry styles ft. sam mccarthy / iv. memo- years and years / v. almost is never enough - ariana grande ft. nathan sykes / vi. how long will i love you - ellie goulding / vii. love me harder - ariana grande ft. the weeknd / viii. god damn you’re beautiful - chester see
say something - alex and sierra | gravity - john mayer | apologize - onerepublic | little things - one direction | don’t let me go - harry styles feat. sam mccarthy | my love is like a star - demi lovato | just a little bit of your heart - ariana grande | heaven’s gonna wait - hedley | amnesia - 5 seconds of summer | everything has change - taylor swift feat. ed sheeran | all of the stars - ed sheeran | she was the one - the vamps | same mistakes - one direction | a thousand years - christina perri | skinny love - birdy | close as strangers - 5 seconds of summer | perfect - hedley | what you wanted (acoustic) - onerepublic | atlas - coldplay | someday we’ll know - new radicals | wanted - hunter hayes | sweater weather - the neighbourhood | we remain - christina aguilera | love is on the radio - mcfly | love me for me - cher lloyd | risk it all - the vamps | unconditionally - katy perry | when the darkness comes - colbie caillat | fix you - coldplay | fall - justin bieber | let her go - passenger | sirens - cher lloyd | summertime sadness - lana del rey | look after you - the fray | heartbreaker - justin bieber | far away - nickelback | teenage dream - boyce avenue | use somebody - kings of leon | closer - kings of leon | stay with me - sam smith | everything - life house | walk in the sun - mcfly | undisclosed desires - muse | all of me - john legend | circles - passenger | stay - rihanna feat. mikky ekko | safe and sound - taylor swift | can’t stand it - never shout never | beating heart - ellie goulding | not about angels - birdy | right now - one direction
“I’ll be home soon.” - Harry’s on tour and the ache of missing him is spreading. X
1. Say Something – A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera // 2. Something Great – One Direction // 3. Beside You – 5 Seconds of Summer // 4. Don’t Let Me Go – Sam McCarthy feat. Harry Styles // 5. Atlas Hands – Benjamin Francis Leftwich // 6. Therapy – All Time Low // 7. Wings – Birdy // 8. Goodnight Moon – Go Radio // 9. Never Let Me Go – Florence + The Machine // 10. All I Want – Kodaline // 11. Figure 8 – Ellie Goulding // 12. Towards The Sun – Alexi Murdoch // 13. These Four Walls – Little Mix // 14. Stay – Mayday Parade // 15. Still – Daughter // 16. Over My Head (Cable Car) – The Fray // 17. My Hands – Leona Lewis // 18. If You Ever Come Back – The Script // 19. I Miss You – Blink 182 // 20. Here With Me – Dido // 21. Bloodstream – Stateless // 22. In My Veins – Andrew Belle feat. Erin McCarley // 23. Open Season – High Highs
01. James Taylor - Fire and Rain // 02. One Direction - Happily // 03. Rosi Golan feat. William Fitzsimmons - Hazy // 04. Ed Sheeran - Fall // 05. Labrinth feat. Emeli Sandé - Beneath Your Beautiful // 06. One Direction - You and I // 07. Darren Criss - Human // 08. Bright Eyes - First Day Of My Life // 09. Christina Perri - Arms // 10. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Home // 11. Miley Cyrus - Adore You // 12. Rouge Wave - Eyes // 13. Lewis Watson - Bones // 14. Travis - Flowers in the Window // 15. Sam Mccarthy feat. Harry Styles - Don’t Let Me Go // 16. Mads Langer - Heartquake // 17. 5 Seconds of Summer - Wherever You Are // 18. One Direction - Half a Heart
// T H I N G S I C A N ’ T // Everything We Had – The Academy Is… // Remember This – Artist Vs Poet // All I Want – Kodaline // No More San Francisco – Craig Owens // Sense – Tom Odell // Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus // Say Something – A Great Big World // Terrible Things – Mayday Parade // Tired and Uninspired – My American Heart // Don’t Let Me Go (feat. Harry Styles) – Sam McCarthy // On My Own – The Used // What If You Don’t – Go Radio // Always Attract – You Me At Six //
Now you were standing there right in front of me I hold on scared and harder to breath All of a sudden these lights are blinding me I never noticed how bright they would be I saw in the corner there is a photograph No doubt in my mind it’s a picture of you It lies there alone in its bed of broken glass This bed was never made for two
I’ll keep my eyes wide open I’ll keep my arms wide open
Don’t let me Don’t let me Don’t let me go ‘Cause I’m tired of feeling alone Don’t let me Don’t let me go 'Cause I’m tired of feeling alone
I promise one day I’ll bring you back a star I caught one and it burned a hole in my hand oh Seems like these days I watch you from afar Just trying to make you understand
I’ll keep my eyes wide open
Don’t let me Don’t let me Don’t let me go 'Cause I’m tired of feeling alone Don’t let me Don’t let me go
Don’t let me Don’t let me Don’t let me go 'Cause I’m tired of feeling alone Don’t let me Don’t let me Don’t let me go 'Cause I’m tired of feeling alone Don’t let me Don’t let me go 'Cause I’m tired of sleeping alone
After the excitement of Drag Me Down,
the subsequent releases of “Infinity” and “Perfect”
were so comparatively lacklustre that I wasn’t sure I was going to
want to do the same kind of detailed analysis on this album as I did
on the previous two.
Fortunately, the rest of the album
convinced me. In listening to the whole thing, a few things struck
thing I was interested to find out was how they’re handling vocals
now that they only have four members. With the kind of harmonies
they have historically done, they had a surplus of voices to work
with, and didn’t have to be as careful in the way they deployed them.
They’ve done some really interesting and new things (comparative to
previous 1D material, though it’s not exactly revolutionary in the
broader context of pop music in general, which is fine) and I found
myself weeping and
more than once, just because I was so freaking happy with some of the
things they’ve done with the vocal arrangements. I’m particularly
fond of If I Could Fly on this score.
only that, but each of them has moments of glory that surpass what
we’ve heard from them before. Well, except for Liam, who kind of hit
a plateau about three albums ago. And I was disappointed not to hear
more of Harry’s falsetto, but there are little peeks here and there,
which is some consolation. I was worried it had disappeared
entirely. Niall and Louis are fucking superstars on this album and I
have a mighty need to hear several of their heavier tracks live.
Sound / Mixing
album is still. mixed. too. loud. There are moments of greater
clarity, but where textures are thicker, they’re really
thick, and there’s an awful lot of compression happening. I’ll get
used to it, eventually, but it’s still really bothering me.
also a lot of reverb-y background-wash stuff, not to mention just a
lot of reverb in general. I think it’s unnecessary and contributes
to a kind of messy feel to the album. This may be personal
preference, but I just don’t think it’s necessary to make everything
I don’t love absolutely everything that’s happening of this album,
and there are some really obvious harmony fails that make me
facepalm, but this is album contains what is, hands down, some of the
most interesting and unexpected stuff that we’ve heard from this
group. There are, what, four tracks in compound time? On a
millennial pop album? Are you fucking
I love it. There are really clear funk/boogie/blues influences on
several tracks and even an a-capella-style vocal bass line on Never Enough
(spoiler alert: this is my lipsync-in-public-without-shame track of
the album) which, what the actual fuck, One Direction, give me more,
I love it.
of what the fuck,
we have strings and a horn section on this album. Let me repeat:
STRINGS. AND A HORN SECTION. Listen, I grew up listening to
Chicago, and while the songwriting here doesn’t even nearly approach
the level of compositional facility that Chicago displayed over the
years, there is some really neat scoring here.
be honest, I’m a bit baffled by several of the tracks, lyrically. It
makes sense for a while and then there’s a wrench thrown in and we
get an entire verse or bridge that’s absolutely nonsensical and I’m
still figuring out how they’re supposed to fit into the meaning of
tracks are absolutely delightful, though. Wait until I hit Olivia.
I was so charmed by Harry’s writing.
also noticed some running themes and repeated ideas. There are two
instances of a girl “wearing my t-shirt” and a couple of
“don’t let me go"s (which destroy me, for reasons that
should be obvious if you were around for the Harry Styles/Sam
McCarthy "leak”). There’s also a recurring reference to,
basically, gravity: it’s a long way down, nobody can drag me down,
definitely be talking about all these things in more detail as they
pertain to each track. Overall, this album isn’t particularly
unified and doesn’t always flow that well, but it’s absolutely a step
forward in sound and in terms of the little things that casual
listeners wouldn’t notice - vocal development things, mostly.
They’re still reaching back to earlier eras for a lot of their sound
inspirations, sometimes in very specific ways, which is something
they’ve done before, but with different particular influences.
I’m far happier with this album than I thought I was going to be
after the second single was released. It’s already approaching the
“every single song triggers warm feelings” stage of
listening, so I need to get this analysis done before I stop being
able to hear the flaws.