mon 24/11/2014

CD: One Direction - Take Me Home | New music reviews, news & interviews

CD: One Direction - Take Me Home

Cutesy 2010 X Factor third-placers and sleb mag filler have a crack at making songs

Some trees, some product and a vintage telephone box

It’s nigh on impossible to separate One Direction’s music from their horrid, grinny, showbiz persona or their gigantic success representing Palpatine Cowell’s Syco empire. This is especially the case if you’re a 45 year old music journalist rather than a 13 year old girl whose hormonal development has exploded through staring at posters of smouldering Zayn Malik (the sultry one!). One Direction are no more aimed at me – and quite possibly you if you’re over 16 - than is a day spent watching CBBC.

That said, there are obvious benchmark musical comparisons to be made, notably with their boy band peers The Wanted, or yesterday's princes of teen lust, JLS. In these, One Direction come out on top. Instead of autotuned sex-accessories drooled from the spermy unconscious of Chris Brown or Usher, they throw in a pinch of guitar, actual songwriting and sunny pop cheese, faintly redolent of millennial bands such as Busted and McFly. They also have the wit to chuck in cheeky musical references to the likes of the Clash (“Live While We’re Young”) and Queen (“Rock Me”), and even hints of Lou Reed's “Walk on the Wild Side” (“Change My Mind”). Mind you, these might not be tributes so much as rip-offs, in the dead certainty that their core audience will never know.

Despite usually adopting an artistic tone akin to liquefied sucrose, a Ritalin-buzzed rictus of happiness, they might make a lot more of their songs if their production wasn’t so utterly hideous. The closing “Summer Love” could be rejigged as a fine power ballad for some LA hair metal band and “Rock Me” punches above its weight. However, sonically compressed to the point of losing any warmth, their sound is the aural equivalent of nightly smearing cheap candy onto a fractured tooth. For a year.

In short, although it’s only a tiny, half-irrelevant part of a bludgeon-promoted light entertainment package, One Direction’s second album is slightly better forgettable crap than might be anticipated.

Watch the video for "Live While We're Young"

They adopt an artistic tone akin to liquefied sucrose, a Ritalin-buzzed rictus of happiness

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