One Direction has constructed legitimately moving power ballads before — and most memorably on its previous two albums — using the hushed verse-mammoth chorus blueprint, from “You and I” to “Ready to Run” to “Story of My Life.” “Infinity,” the second taste of fifth album Made In The A.M. following the Top 5 hit “Drag Me Down,” sets up camp on similar ground, but can’t overcome its ham-fisted lyrics to gain any momentum.
“How many nights does it take to count the stars?/That’s the time it would take to fix my heart,” the 1D lads sing earnestly to open the chorus, and the rest of the song takes it melodramatic cues from this couplet. Eyes refuse to shine, the world still turns while the boys are frozen, and other bummers with zero actual detail occur. A unmemorable arrangement of kick drum and glistening guitar also helps “Infinity” sound hamstrung by its clumsy lyrics: so much emphasis is placed on each phrase, and since there’s not one that rises above humdrum, the song remains so.
As on “Drag Me Down,” One Direction sounds vocally accomplished on “Infinity” in spite of the absence of Zayn Malik; fans should remain excited about the 1D’s highly anticipated new album. Let’s just hope the rest of Made In the A.M. skews closer to its lead single and not this disappointing pseudo-follow-up.