At a time when the survival of boy bands was indeed questionable, groups such as JLS, The Wanted and the newly reformed Take That struggled to keep the idea alive. The most notable success story of the modern day boy band is undoubtedly the phenomenal achievements of One Direction. The band, which formed in 2010 on the popular reality show the X Factor, rocketed to the top of the charts and indeed, helped revive the previously dying concept of the boy band.
Their second studio album, Take Me Home, has already soared to the top of the Irish and UK charts as well as claiming the top spot in 32 different countries. Certainly, the typical fan base of screaming teenage girls will be in hysterics over the latest addition to the One Direction back catalogue. On the contrary, as an independent reviewer I was pleasantly surprised by the album. Although it follows the traditional boy band recipe of heartfelt love ballads and preppy dance tunes, the boys seem to have matured to a certain extent and the album almost solidifies their position as a top influential group.
The opening track, “Live While We’re Young”, epitomises the carefree and innocence of youth and it prevails as a smooth transition from their first album. Toe-tapping beats and cheeky lyrics combine to create a feel-good track with an infectious sound. The stand-out track from the album is the upbeat “Kiss You”. The chorus becomes embedded in your mind and although it’s hard to admit, this song is most definitely a guilty pleasure.
Such light-hearted tunes are delicately balanced with slow, simple ballads. The most notable number, “Little Things”, is written by the lyrical genius Ed Sheeran and his expertise is clearly evident. The words are mature and emotional and the tune proves to be sweet and melodic. Ed’s contribution brings sophistication to these teenage warblers and highlights their vocal talent.
The band’s ability to move easily from high-energy tracks to delicate ballads proves their versatility and illumes the point they have been trying to prove since their X Factor days: This band is not a one-trick pony. Take Me Home does result in a more evolved sound and is a relatively more mature album. Whether you’re a dedicated Directioner or not, one thing’s for sure – these boys are going nowhere.