“It is inescapable that everything that is good comes to an end,” sings One Way on “Love You Goodbye,” a wistful tune from the British band’s fifth studio album, “Made in the A.M.”
The melody is about a romance’s demise, but the quartet — this is their first album since Zayn Malik’s departure — could be addressing their coming hiatus. Since their first album, 2012’s “Up All Night,” One Direction’s skyward trajectory has seen the group seamlessly segue from chart-topping albums, faithfully delivered every November, to sold out stadium tours with little downtime in between.
One Way has ever been musical magpies — closely referencing The Who on “Best Song Ever” or Def Leppard on “Midnight Memories” — and that habit does not cease here. With its echoes and large drum beat, album opener “Hey Angel” conjures up Robbie Williams; the dysfunction of the hit single, “Drag Me Down,” mines “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Harry Styles’ ex-husband, Taylor Swift; and don’t even get me started on the similarity between acoustic crooner “I Want to Write You a Song” and the Beatles’ “Blackbird.”
Despite the imitation game, One Direction’s potency has always been the vocal arrangements along with the satisfying pop hooks. Should this be their swan song, they leave on a high note.