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Tuesday Tunes: Spotlight on One Direction

Album_ArtworkThe shelf life of a boy band is so ephemeral, you can’t blame One Direction for thrusting a second album at us a mere eight months after their debut.

Besides, those kids who already bought tickets to the group’s 2013 tour need something to ply them until Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are back in front of them on stage for a shriek-inducing 90 minutes.

“Take Me Home” succeeds as a logical next step for an outfit no one is looking to for life-changing musical genius. This baker’s dozen of tunes bounce, soar and swoon with nary a clunker among them. In fact, the album sounds designed to be a collection of singles.

Things that have already become associated with the U.K. quintet – the jangly guitar riffs that color all of their uptempo songs, the puppy dog lyrics that affirm a young lady’s awesomeness (“Little Things,” which thematically follows “What Makes You Beautiful”), the songs that are legally required to use the word “kiss” in them (“Kiss You,” “Last First Kiss”) – are in abundance here.

And good for One Direction. They’re doing exactly what they should be – appealing to teens who want to hear that they’re attractive and worthy of love. It’s harmless pop and really, not much of a stretch from the Beatles professing that they wanted to do some hand holding.

No one harbors any crazy ideas that One Direction will be playing stadiums at 70. But for now, hearing them explore slightly edgier musical territory on “Rock Me” and glide through “Change My Mind,” a mid-tempo song worthy of Take That in their heyday, is plenty. In fact, “Change” isn’t quite soggy enough for the tweens or chirpy enough for Top 40 – which means it’s a step toward musical maturity for these lads, who also take some stabs at co-writing throughout the album.

What makes listening to a song such as the blissfully catchy “I Would” even more endearing is hearing how One Direction functions as a group, not one standout vocalist with The Other Guys behind him.

Is “Take Me Home” formulaic? Absolutely. Offensive to music purists? Probably. But if you can’t, on some level, enjoy these three-minute fluff balls, you’ve sadly forgotten that feeling of youthful exuberance that 1D sells so well.

10 comments Add your comment

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Eddie

November 13th, 2012
9:12 am

I got nothing against boy bands, but come on….This formula has been going on for close to 25 years now. This karaoke performing garbage with the incredibly mediocre songs. Can’t they do something better than this? At least something *slightly* more original? The tween girls may like this crap, but the rest of us have to suffer through the banal hell of it.

[...] in the second half, which muddles the pop fervor of the better tracks.InrotationChicago Sun-TimesSpotlight on One DirectionAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)One Direction – Take Me Home Album ReviewWhatCulture!all 150 [...]

Susan

November 13th, 2012
9:26 am

Sorry, Eddie, but the teen girls of today haven’t been around 25 years to tire of the formula. I took my 15 year old daughter to their concert at the Gwinnett Arena in June. While it’s not the kind of music I would choose on my own, I agree with Melissa that they are very good at what they are selling. I can’t stand rap music, but hey, I just choose not to listen to it (except when I’m forced to by a car blasting it next to me at a red light). Don’t like 1D? Don’t listen. If it is thrust upon you by a teen girl in your life, be glad it’s not Miley Cyrus and suffer in silence. The June concert is something my daughter will NEVER forget and I wouldn’t trade sharing that experience with her for anything.

Nancy

November 13th, 2012
9:58 am

I’m a greatgrandmother and I just heard these guys for first time on the Today show and I think they are great. The UK puts out some great groups. Just what a teen, especially a girl, would love to hear. I even enjoyed listening to them myself.

j

November 13th, 2012
10:23 am

Melissa,

I know this is off topic, but Anthony David released a new CD today entitled “Love Out Loud”. I know he is not very popular on mainstream radio, but he is a very talented musician who has been apart of the soul scene in Atlanta and nationwide for years now. He provides a very mature prospective on life and love that is desperately needed in mainstream R&B music right now.

MoFaux

November 13th, 2012
12:17 pm

I guess they are either too young or uneducated to also realize that 1D also stands for one dimensional in the mathematical world. How appropriate.

Bill

November 13th, 2012
12:35 pm

MoFaux,

I think 1D is too smart and too awesome to let hate-filled people like you stop their momentum from becoming one of the greatest bands of all time. To insinuate that these boys are one dimensional is criminal, I am appalled and you should be absolutely ashamed with yourself. All these boys try to do is provide a little bit of happiness each and every time they perform. They have beautiful physiques and angelic voices which draw males and females alike to their aura. If you can’t appreciate that, then you S. S is the mathematical sign for suck.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]