U.K. boyband and 2010 X-Factor runner’s up, ‘One Direction’ finally release their debut studio album.
Release: 21 November 2011 (U.K.) 13th March 2012 (U.S.)
Recorded: Los Angeles London Stockholm
Genre: Pop, Dance-Pop, Teen-Pop
Label: Syco, Columbia
Producers: Ash Howes, Brian Rawling, Carl Falk, Matt Squire, Rami Yacoub, RedOne
1. “What Makes You Beautiful” 3:18
2. “Gotta Be You” 4:04
3. “One Thing” 3:17
4. “More Than This” 3:48
5. “Up All Night” 3:12
6. “I Wish” 3:35
7. “Tell Me a Lie” 3:15
8. “Taken” 3:55
9. “I Want” 2:51
10. “Everything About You” 3:35
11. “Same Mistakes” 3:37
12. “Save You Tonight” 3:24
13. “Stole My Heart” 3:25
Boyband Svingali, Simon Cowell is once again at the helm of the music world’s latest offering. After the group’s five individuals failed to make their marks in the solo category of 2010s X-Factor, they formed One Direction and entered as a group after which they won wide acclaim and adoration from the public and judges. The group eventually came third in the competition and were immediately signed to Simon Cowell’s, Syco Records. They released their hit single, ‘What makes you beautiful’ in September 2011.
This post N-Sync, Backstreet Boys, mutation are making all the right moves and with Cowell steering the ship their five minutes in the spotlight seems bright. While this bodes well for tweens everywhere, the rest of humanity will have to find a way to inoculate themselves against the onslaught of, One Direction media blurbs that are about to follow.
Songs like ‘What makes you beautiful’, ‘Stole my heart’ and ‘Up all night’ might be well sung but they are as genuine and real as the last episode of ‘Survivor’. Every song offers the same lame refrains and themes of being in love, being heartbroken and having fun. There was never much that a boyband could sing about but while acts like Take That and boyband originators, the Jackson 5 did it with nuance and quality songwriting, One Direction’s schtick is overlayed with cheap lyrics and contrived pop hooks tailor-made for twelve-year olds.
‘Tell me a lie’ was written by Kelly Clarkson and despite it’s more mature sound it comes across as a bubblegum pop anthem devoid of the punch or edginess it tries to aspire to. ‘I want’ offers the only glimmer of hope. It starts with an interesting staccato piano movement and dishes up a few great Queen sounding guitar licks. The Take That angle on the track is refreshing but comes too late amidst a wave of bland and weak songs that have numbed your brain and insulted you or any young person’s intelligence.
One Direction might have broken all sorts of records, from having debuted at number one to having the fastest selling debut album in the U.K. heck they might even have a Robbie Williams in their mist but to say this is a good record is a stretch too far.