On November 13th of 2015, One Direction released their fifth studio album and the last one before their hiatus which would allow Harry, Louis, Liam, and Niall to explore their solo interests and embark on new projects before rejoining as a group in the future where they’ll once again – undoubtedly – take over the music industry. While their goodbye, for now, came as a shock to fans, the bigger shock would have been the four continuing to run as well oiled machines for another number of years without a solid break. Made in the AM was the band’s gift to their fans, and within it, was the greatest love story of all time.
The album opens with the line ‘Hey angel’ and closes with ‘Like we’re all gonna make it’ and elaborates on the five incredible years that the boys spent with their fans forming an indescribable bond. The album chronicles the high times, the low ones, and promises a future together, with lyrics that scream “this is not the end, we can make it you know it, you know” – solidifying their inevitable return to the stage and their loyal fans.
Now, one year later, MITAM means more to fans than ever as they embark on the first November without a new album which also means no new tour to anxiously anticipate. With that knowledge, the boys made sure that MITAM had lasting power and if you ask any One Direction fan, they’ll tell you that Niall, Liam, Louis; and Harry absolutely nailed it.
Since July of 2015, a narrative has been set that the boys have no desire to return to music at all. Rumors of hatred and feuds, bored and uninterested band members, and worse – drug abuse, were all thrown into the media by vile sources as the reasons we’d never see a One Direction reunion after they took their ‘final bow’. The beauty of MITAM is the way it stands as a response to all of those baseless rumors and does so in a classy and meaningful way.
While listening to MITAM, especially today, fans can close their eyes and see the last six years play out in front of them. The tours, the music videos, the songs, the award shows, the guest appearances, the movie, the DVDs, the meet and greets, and more than that, the relationships that have been formed thanks to One Direction. Many people found their best friends, some found their partners, but most fans found themselves and there’s nothing more important than that.
When fans hear ‘Hey Angel’ they think of someone they admire, perhaps someone they’ve lost, and in a way, even themselves. ‘Drag Me Down’ makes fans feel invincible, untouchable, and like they’ve meant as much to the boys as the boys have meant to them. ‘Perfect’ reminds fans of their road trips to see the One Direction, causing trouble in hotel rooms, it’s a fun feel good song; ever album needs one. ‘Infinity’ is sobering and reminds most fans of a time in life that they thought they might be fighting for nothing, waiting forever for the thing they want most in the world and watching it always be a few steps out of reach.
‘End of the Day’ is sweet, it’s simple, it tells the story of all of us – at the end of the day, you want what you want and you love who you love and that’s okay. ‘If I Could Fly’ is a tear jerker, it’s an ode to real love – it’s everything we never knew we needed in a song, it’s perfect. ‘Long Way Down’ is one that makes fans reflect, and it likely does the same for the boys – this one seemed to be about saying goodbye and letting go, we all had to do that last year.
‘Never Enough’ is the perfect weekend play list hit, it’s everything fans have wanted from One Direction – it’s fun, it’s mature, it’s a bit sexy, quite frankly, it’s a banger. ‘Olivia’ is the mysterious song; it’s an enigma, but it makes you fell good and Harry loves it so it’s sort of everyone’s favorite, even if it isn’t.
‘What a Feeling’ describes how it feels to be part of the fandom, to be on this journey with four incredible young men and tons of people all across the world – “What a feeling to be a king beside you somehow, I wish I could be there now”. ‘Love you Goodbye’ is honestly a beautiful tune on its own, but we’ve still never found our way over Louis’ high note – it’s everything. The song tells a story that most of us have been in before, knowing someone is wrong for you, knowing it should be over, but not being able to let go.
‘I Want to Write you a Song’ is the song that explains perfectly how the fans feel about the boys, the lyrics are sweet and genuine and the expressions used to portray a desire to protect and love a person fit perfectly in this crazy and amazing relationship fans have with One Direction. ‘History’ is clearly the promise of the album, the go to tune, the song you listen to when you’re either happy or sad, it is hope and passion and purpose. It’s the song that says – straight out – this is not the end.
‘Temporary Fix’ is another song we desperately need to hear live, it was made to be performed. It’s also a tune that shows off a bit more maturity from the lads and it makes you feel powerful when you listen to it, who doesn’t love that. ‘Walking in the Wind’ is the song that sort of describes this hiatus for some fans, for other so it describes a deeper or more permanent loss. No matter what it stands for in your eyes, it’s cathartic and healing and beautiful, even in the longing; you’ll always find the people that you miss, sometimes it’s in the wind or the sun or the stars at night.
‘Wolves’ is another one of those songs we never knew we needed. It’s upbeat, you have to dance when you hear it, and it’s totally relatable. We’ve all wanted someone that the rest of the world seems to want too, we’ve all known wolves.
The album ends with ‘AM’ and for us, it’s an even bigger message to the fans than ‘History’. It is slow, it’s beautiful, it’s been sung live – with so much passion – and it’s as much of a promise as it is a reflection. The song describes the late nights, the drinks, feeling like it’ll never end, about how being at a show feels like home, how they’ll always come back to it – to us – and how most of the best times we’ve all had have been in the early hours of the AM. It’s the little moments that mean most, the indescribable ones, and somehow this song managed to sum up the reason this journey means so much, it’s absolutely beautiful, it was the perfect song to end the album with.
Today, this specific anniversary, is bittersweet for fans and for the boys as well. It’s the defining moment of this new chapter, and while we all feel a ping of sadness and a bit of emptiness, we know we can look back at MITAM and listen to how each song was picked specifically for us, written as a promise, as a sign of hope, and as a sense of comfort. There is truly no fan base luckier than that of One Direction’s fan base; the boys we look up to and love so much love us right back.
Thank you Harry, Louis, Liam, and Niall for MITAM and thank you for giving us such an important anniversary. This album is the best gift we’ve been given as your fans, we’ll always be thankful.