Kimi Carter, Staff Writer

At midnight, Friday the 13th, 2015, One Direction released their studio album “Made in the A.M.” This is their first album they’ve released since their former bandmate, Zayn Malik, left the band, and just by listening to it, I can tell that they really don’t need Malik in the band for them to make astonishing music.

Fans were heartbroken when the 22-year-old left the band this past spring, and they were all so confused as to how they were going to make an album without his high notes and extreme vocal range. With the release of their first post-Malik single, “Drag Me Down,” fans started feeling a little better about the loss, although it was very odd not to hear Malik’s heartthrobbing voice. They then released their song “Infinity” which caused the fans to put their trust back into the boy band. After releasing more songs within the release week, the fans were almost happier with Malik not in the group because, somehow, the band has a whole different sound from their previous albums. They have a more mature sound, and their lyrics have a little more depth to them.

I took a listen to the album myself, and I was very pleased with what I heard. Of course, I love the popular singles like “Drag Me Down,” “Perfect,” and “Infinity,” but some of my absolute favorites from the album are the songs that not many people have heard about. My two favorite songs are “A.M.” and “Olivia.” “A.M.” starts out with the first part of the chorus before going into smooth verses and then back into the chorus with Harry singing, “Won’t you stay ‘till the A.M.? / All my favorite conversations / Always made in the A.M.,” which gives us the title of the album. “Olivia” is very different. The song starts with Niall singing the low octive verse, until Liam comes in singing the heartmelting pre-chorus singing, “Oh I love you /  I love you / I love /  I love / I love Olivia,” going a key lower with each “Love.”

Other songs such as “Hey Angel,” “End of the Day,” and “History” are beautifully written, and the whole album is just a work of art. It’s obvious in their sound and appearance that 1D is growing up, and although it’s different and strange to fans and listeners, it’s nice to know that the beloved British boy band has really matured in their sound and their lives.