Album comparison: One Direction’s Made in the A.M. vs. Justin Bieber’s Purpose


Neha Patchipala

Justin Bieber and One Direction: two popular names in today’s music industry with huge followings that mostly consist of screaming, diehard teenage girls who are probably in deep contemplation over which album to listen to. Bieber’s album Purpose is his fourth studio album and One Direction’s album Made in the A.M. is the foursome’s first album following the departure of band member Zayn Malik.

Here are reviews to iTunes’ three most popular songs from each of the albums.

Purpose by Justin Bieber

1. Sorry

Debuting at number two on the Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, Bieber’s new hit “Sorry” uses EDM and Latin influences to begin the song with an ambiguous tone. The genre of this song shows an effort to move away from his more mainstream pop-rock hits such as “Boyfriend” and “Baby”.

Although many might think that the song might revolve around an apology to a woman, most likely Selena Gomez (Bieber’s former girlfriend), others take his message in a different way. Bieber uses this song as an apology for his previous actions and an opportunity to gain acceptance from past Beliebers. Bieber’s use of an apology in his album might have had a greater effect on his reputation than announcing it on a talk show because his album Purpose adds a more nuanced meaning to his apology; this made it easier for fans to accept him.

2. What Do You Mean?

Making a comeback from his negative media attention with his hit single “What Do You Mean?”, Bieber portrays a different and more vulnerable side of himself, in contrast to the rebellious and strong man the media portrayed him as. This track includes a mix of his previous album’s upbeat tone through his signature starting piano keys. It later transitions into a more nuanced tone with BPM music and an electronic feel during the chorus. With the help of Skrillex and Diplo, “What Do You Mean?” has a danceable yet naive feel. The pop background and light background instruments make it pleasing to listen to, yet simple.

3. I’ll Show You

Bieber’s “I’ll Show You” clearly portrays his true self and his hardships through the chorus when he says “I’m not made of steel.”

This track is a more down-tempo song and shows his musical transition into a more mature artist. His use of powerful lyrics and EDM music incorporated the general tone and apologetic message in Purpose. His lyrics show a more human perspective compared to mainstream love songs

Made in the A.M. by One Direction

1. Drag Me Down

The first single released from the album, “Drag Me Down” conveys a more mature sound from the boyband but still can be considered pop-music, with its likeable yet meaningless and mundane hook. The song fluctuates between slow build ups to faster-paced tempos, making it a song that can appeal to everyone, whether they enjoy the pop music genre or not.

2. Perfect

One Direction’s “Perfect” was the second single to be released from the album and is an upbeatlove song that lists qualities that would make a girl “perfect” for them. This song is one of the more lighter songs in the album, and makes use of a melodious tune and lyrics that are sweet enough to would make any girl swoon. While the word “perfect” was repeated one to many times it is a song that has garnered affection. The song is very similar to Taylor Swift’s song “Style” as the hook and beat of both songs are comparable.

3. History

With just a simple drum beat and guitar, “History” is unique to the boyband’s normal style which is pop and teen-boppy with a catchy but sometimes repetitive chorus. This particular song gives off an old school vibe with its simplicity and seems to take the listener back in “history” to a much more unembellished time. All of the boys’ vocals are distinct and clean, making the song pleasing to the ears despite its uniqueness.

Both albums represent comebacks and new sounds for their respective artists. Bieber’s album shows a more nuanced tone and non mainstream music. Songs like “Sorry” and “I’ll Show You”’s apologetic feeling gained a greater number of listeners and placed it in a close competition with One Direction’s Made in the A.M. 1D’s new album, on the other hand, shows the boyband’s attempt to appeal to an older audience with more mature songs with some songs like “History” and “What a Feeling,” while other songs like “Temporary Fix” and “Perfect” fail to do so.

Story written by Aditi Desai and Neha Patchipala