- Steal My Girl - The lead single and first track of this album does not appear at first listen to be much of an evolution. The lyrics appear to be emulating rock, and while they're a slight change from earlier singles, the song is still the typical boy-band type of song that a girl can listen to and picture herself as the girl in. 7/10
- Ready to Run - Fans of more ballad-y songs such as "The Story of My Life" will like this track. It's mildly reminiscent of "Don't Forget Where You Belong" from their previous album, Midnight Memories. The instrumentation in the background is done well, and the boys (should I still call them boys?) Anyway, their voices blend nicely. 9/10
- Where Do Broken Hearts Go - This is one of my favorite songs on the album — the lyrics are done very nicely - "I built you a house from a broken home" and the whole concept of looking for the place that broken hearts go. I'll attempt to refrain from connecting this album to Taylor Swift's 1989, but Harry Styles did co-write this song and it does connect quite nicely to How You Get The Girl...10/10
- 18 - This song doesn't really fit One Direction very well — it's written by Ed Sheeran. It might signal a change in style for them, but it really seems nothing like them. It's a solid track, though. 8/10
- Girl Almighty - I preferred this one a lot to the lead single, and in my opinion, it should've been the lead single. The echoing bit in the chorus is great, and it's really infectious. 9/10
- Fool's Gold - This one somehow seems to fit the members of the group more than 18, even though they're both ballads. The voices of the boys seem a little weird and off at the beginning, but otherwise it's a very enjoyable track. 9/10
- Night Changes - I was very very happy when this was the second single. It's a nice song for the concept of the album as a whole — even if things change, they won't change so much. It's also cool that it ties into the next track well — I'm all for cohesive albums. 10/10
- No Control - Basically the sequel to Night Changes, in which the girl has (presumably) lost her virginity. It's bubblegum-y like many of their previous singles, but not so much that it's annoying. Of course, it does fall into the whole "any-girl-could-imagine-herself-there" trope, with you pronouns and a scenario many fans of the band would enjoy. A lot. 8/10
- Fireproof - Everyone's already stated this track is amazing, and both the sheer number of downloads and I agree. Not much to say. 10/10
- Spaces - The sparse music in the background of this song really does well with the whole theme of "spaces" being in between two people who are in love. It's sung in a very emotional way, which works well. 9/10
- Stockholm Syndrome - I don't really connect to this track much, and don't enjoy it super much. Interesting concept, but wasn't delivered on super well. It doesn't work as well as a poppy song as it would've as a ballad, in my opinion. 7/10
- Clouds - Another track that doesn't work very well, especially not as a closer to the standard edition. It doesn't have a sense of finishing, which isn't absolutely mandatory, but also isn't written very well. 7/10
- Change Your Ticket - I enjoy this one — it's catchy, non-annoying, and a song that should've been on the non-standard edition in my opinion. I'm also resisting the urge to connect this song to the lyrical themes in Blank Space. Fill it in for yourself if you really want to. 9/10
- Illusion - The beat in this song is done well, and the lyrics connect nicely to Ready to Run and Where do Broken Hearts Go, promising that they're grown up now and won't break hearts anymore. 8/10
- Once in a Lifetime - I like how I can hear the instruments in the background, and how the production is sparse — it ties in nicely to the calm concept of the song. Would've been a good closing track. 9/10
- Act My Age - This song is cute, but not really all that necessary. It doesn't seem like they are trying to sing particularly well in the verses, and if they didn't try on the singing then why are they trying on the production? Doesn't make much sense to me. It's probably another one of the tracks dedicated to the fans, so I might not understand because of that (only being casually interested in One Direction). 6/10
One Direction has long been mocked as a band for their incredibly poppy releases such as "What Makes You Beautiful". In their past releases, however, they have been moving in a more mature direction, releasing songs such as "Story of My Life" and "Night Changes" as singles, and becoming more respected in the public eye. Their fourth album, appropriately titled FOUR, has more ballads than their previous releases and covers a wider range of topics.
Album Rating: 8/10
About the Blog
Fountain Pen Girl Album Reviews is a blog writing track-by-track reviews of new popular and independent music with a focus on female artists. The main genres that are covered on this blog are pop, country, singer-songwriter and alternative music, focusing especially on independent artists and female country artists. Enjoy my blog!
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