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BY HANNAH ELLIOTT, Robinson High
Grade: ****, 4/5 asterisks
They are British, they sing cheesy pop songs, they have cliche dance moves, but One Direction have one thing that caught my eye when I first came across them: Most boy bands are manufactured by record labels and branded until the public accepts them, but One Direction is far from that.
They are real. They are real teenage boys with real stories, and real singing voices, who decided on a whim to try out for X Factor, and they ended up being grouped together. They didn’t even win X Factor, nor were they even runners-up; they were the losers who millions of girls worldwide took a liking to, strangely without the band really trying.
About eight months ago as I was watching the music video for Gotta Be You, my reaction was just as Glozell (YouTube One Direction fangirl) expressed in her video. Just when you fell in love with one guy with mesmerizing eyes and perfect hair, BAM, there’s another one, and another, and another, and another. So after I established that there are five fairy tale guys, I was rather confused. My ears said no, but my eyes said yes. This is quite shallow of me, but let’s just be honest here; the boys are the main attraction, everything else is simply gravy.
After roughly five months of not fully recognizing my infatuation, I was bored with my usual music so I decided to become a part of the British mess. I partly blame my friends for my collapse into One Direction’s fandom; now I finally understand peer pressure. Also, if you are a teenage girl who doesn’t find at least one member of One Direction attractive, you need help because you are in a horrible state of denial and you should try to be more honest with yourself, okay? Just kidding. But really.
Oh, this is an album review of One Direction’s sophomore album isn’t it, I almost forgot. Though I was saying that their music didn’t offer much more than a fun radio play, I was going completely mental when I listened to Take Me Home for the first time. I wasn’t expecting much musically, but I was pleasantly very surprised.
I barely listened to their first album, Up All Night; what I did hear was average, run-of-the-mill boy band material. But the moment I heard them sing, “Tonight let’s get some and live while we’re young” in their first single from Take Me Home, I realized that no matter if their posters were plastered on a 7-year-old’s wall, they weren’t cookie-cutter Goody Two-shoes. They were going to sing what they wanted and didn’t worry about the man behind the curtain, because there wasn’t one.
Little Things is the love child of Ed Sheeran and One Direction, as well as Over Again. These songs are easily recognized as “Ed songs” by the lyrics and the simple guitar styling. The two numbers show the band’s ability to venture from cheesy pop tracks for a more sophisticated discography.
The breakout awards go to my personal favorites, Summer Love and Kiss You. Kiss You begins with a fresh electric guitar and could almost disguise itself as a tune on an indie pop album. Summer Love epitomizes their improvement as a musical group. The harmonies are well enhanced, and the entwining of violins and acoustic guitar is angelic.
Unlike Up All Night, which seemed to consist of merely fluff to fill up time around One Thing and What Makes You Beautiful, One Direction’s newest is filled with legit music, well thought out and consistently decent. As I said before, five British guys with flawless hair is enough for me, but the new music on Take Me Home is massive bonus.
Hannah Elliott is a music critic for tb-two* and a junior at Robinson High.