By: Harper Brown

One Direction released their fifth studio album, Made in the A.M. on November 13, 2015, through Columbia Records and Syco Music. The album was released following the announcement of their upcoming 18-month hiatus set to start in March of 2016. This is the first album the English-Irish boy band has released since the departure of bandmate Zayn Malik in March of 2015.

One Direction officially released three singles off of the album. The album’s first official single, “Drag Me Down,” was released on July 31, 2015 and debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart. With over two million plays within the first week, the song broke the record for the most streamed song in one week. The second official single off of the album, “Perfect,” was released October 16, 2015 and debuted at number two in the UK, also coming in number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The third official single, “History,” was released on November 6, 2015, one week prior to the album’s release date.

Made in the A.M. truly demonstrates just how far the group has come since the start of their success in 2010. The group’s first two albums Up All Night (2011) and Take Me Home (2012) have a very “bubblegum pop” sound, something to be expected of a boy band. Their more recent albums, Midnight Memories (2013) and Four (2014) have much more of a “rock” sound. Made in the A.M. continues the new rock vibe the group has established.

The album has received many positive reviews from music critics. Kenneth Partridge of Billboard magazine declared that the album “could be the band’s Abbey Road ” and rated it four stars. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone stated that the album is “1D’s Let It Be, the kind of record the world’s biggest pop group makes when it’s time to say thanks for the memories.” Could this album be the last the world hears from One Direction? I certainly hope not.