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Since the release of their last album, 2014's Four, One Direction went from five members to four with the departure of Zayn Malik, but not much else has changed. Working with their longtime production team of Julian Bunetta and John Ryan, Made in the A.M. is another slice of high-quality modern pop brought to life by the band's charm. They mostly stick to the formula that got them to the top of the charts, but throw in a couple of surprises that keep things interesting. The album's mix of upbeat dance-pop songs, emotional midtempo songs, and big, gut-wrenching ballads is a familiar one, with songs like "Drag Me Down" and "Infinity" sounding genetically engineered for radio play. "Perfect" is the album's best radio song, with a nice moody verse and some real emotional punch provided by Harry Styles' vocal on the super-hooky chorus. Like on Four, they cop some serious Fleetwood Mac moves, right down to borrowing a bassline from "Dreams" on "What a Feeling." Their ongoing love of the '80s comes through on "Never Enough," a ridiculously fun song that sounds like it's half Def Leppard and half Amy Grant circa "Every Heartbeat." It really sounds like the band is having a blast all the way through the song, especially the guys doing the doo wop backing vocals. Like on that song, where the album works best are the times when they loosen up a little and don't seem too worried about making music for the charts. The opening "Hey Angel" borrows a lot from the Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" and features one of the album's best, most relaxed melodies; the Harry Styles co-write "Olivia" is a sweet Beatlesque sunshine pop song with the nice bounce and light feeling that much modern pop lacks; and the album-ending "History" is a cute little singalong that both sums up the band's past and promises fans there will be a future. As for the present, Made in the A.M. is a fine way to end this chapter of the band's run. While they could have used some of Zayn's vocal prowess, especially on the ballads, the other bandmembers pick up the slack impressively. Their songwriting shows growth, their vocals remain flawless, the production team continues to throw the occasional curveball to go along with the softballs, and there are plenty of songs that sound like the best pop music has to offer in 2015.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/13/2015
Label: Columbia Records
UPC: 0888751307926
catalogNumber: 513079
Rank: 207


  1. Hey Angel
  2. Drag Me Down
  3. Perfect
  4. Infinity
  5. End of the Day
  6. If I Could Fly
  7. Long Way Down
  8. Never Enough
  9. Olivia
  10. What a Feeling
  11. Love You Goodbye
  12. I Want to Write You a Song
  13. History

Album Credits

Performance Credits

One Direction   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Mark Berrow   Violin
Peter Bunetta   Background Vocals
Martin Humbey   Viola
Andy Martin   Brass
John Ryan   Guitar,Background Vocals
Cathy Thompson   Violin
Peter Lale   Viola
Patrick Kiernan   Violin
Boguslaw Kostecki   Violin
Gavin Greenaway   Conductor
Rachel Bolt   Viola
Dai Emanuel   Violin
Warren Zielinski   Violin
Ian Burdge   Cello
Chris Worsey   Cello
Magnus Johnston   Violin
Mattias Johansson   Violin
Tony Woollard   Cello
Nick Broste   Brass
Simon Baggs   Violin
Johan Carlsson   Background Vocals
Julian Bunetta   Guitar,Background Vocals
Willie Murillo   Brass
Danielle Ondarza   Brass
Jamie Scott   Guitar,Background Vocals
Perry Montague-Mason   Violin
Mattias Bylund   Strings
Helene Horlyck   Vocal Ad-Libs
Andrew Haas   Background Vocals
James McLeod   Violin
Gabrielle Lester   Violin
Caroline Dearnley   Cello
Alisha Bauer   Cello
Jacqueline Hartley   Violin
Ross Golan   Background Vocals
John Bradbury   Violin
Ed Drewett   Background Vocals
Damon Bunetta   Background Vocals
Tom Evans   Brass
David Bukovinszky   Cello
Steve Wright   Viola
Ian Franzino   Background Vocals
Daniel Bhattacharya   Violin
Christina Emanuel   Violin
Steve Morris   Violin
Daniel Bryer   Background Vocals
Mike Needle   Background Vocals
David Levine   Brass
Joe Ryan   Background Vocals
Rick Wilson   Background Vocals
Sam Johnson   Brass

Technical Credits

Isobel Griffiths   String Contractor
Marco Marinangeli   String Arrangements
Maureen McDonald   Composer
John Ryan   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements,Instrumentation
Wayne Hector   Composer
Johan Carlsson   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Vocal Producer
Julian Bunetta   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements,Instrumentation,Additional Production
Jamie Scott   Composer,Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Perry Montague-Mason   String Section Leader
Jesse Shatkin   Composer,Producer,Instrumentation
Tyler Shields   Engineer
Mattias Bylund   String Arrangements
Noah Passovoy   Vocal Producer
Jacob Kasher   Composer
Mo Hausler   Engineer
Ross Golan   Composer
Ed Drewett   Composer
Ammar Malik   Composer
Niall Horan   Composer,Liner Notes
Louis Tomlinson   Composer,Liner Notes
Liam Payne   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,String Arrangements,Instrumentation
Harry Styles   Composer,Liner Notes
Kate Moross   Art Direction
Jasper Dent   Vocal Engineer
LunchMoney Lewis   Composer
Joe Kearns   Engineer
Daniel Bryer   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Instrumentation
Amy Stewart   String Contractor
Afterhrs   Producer
Mike Needle   Composer,Vocal Producer
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