One Direction are my guilty pleasure. I loved ‘What Makes You Beautiful’, and have spent many a happy afternoon dancing around to ‘Live While We’re Young’. So, as a (not so) secret fan, I was excited to see what their new album would be like.
Take Me Home is the second album from tween heart throbs One Direction. After finishing 3rd in 2010s X Factor, 1D have been on their way to world domination, stealing the hearts of teenage girls everywhere and topping charts world wide. Single, ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ catapulted them into the limelight and they’ve been climbing the stairs to super stardom ever since. Their first album, Up All Night, was both a commercial, and surprisingly, critical success, spawning umpteen hit singles and being certified Gold in numerous countries.
The first track and lead single, ‘Live While We’re Young’, has already been a big summer hit. It’s catchy and relatable and everything else their army of teenage fans could want in a track! Having heard this track before the entire album, I was eager to see what they (and their dream team of songwriters (including Ed Sheeran, Tom Fletcher and Rami Yacoub)) would deliver. I shouldn’t have got my hopes up.
The first thing to note is the abundance of auto-tune, it’s incredibly obvious on almost every track, and it’s not improving anything. It’s especially obvious on annoying ballad ‘They Don’t Know About Us’, where all the instruments seem to be synthesised. It sounds like a bad 90s song, not something from 2012. This is the worst offender for auto-tune; but the whole album sounds like T-Pain has had a quick play with the mixing.
Second single, ‘Little Things’, is a good attempt at a ballad. It’s one of the strongest tracks on the album, no doubt because one of the writers of this song was Ed Sheeran. It’ll undoubtedly do well, as not only is it a good track, but all the ‘directioners’ can imagine their true loves are singing it to them. ‘Over Again’ is, like ‘Little Things’, very obviously written by Sheeran, with his usual use of guitars and lyrics (‘now she’s feeling so low since she went solo, hole in the middle of my heart like a polo’). It’s a nice song, with solid harmonies and may be one of the only songs on the album that will appeal to a wider audience. Sheeran has helped the boys go in a more mature direction, however these new found musical maturity doesn’t last for long.
‘I Would’ was written by McFly (minus the one who won Strictly), and is the track I was most excited about, and it’s not bad, but it’s not anything special either. It has the usual use of a repeated guitar riff with the vocals over the top and a catchy chorus (think ‘Live While We’re Young’ part II). It works, but it’s nothing original.
The rest of the tracks blur into one, all with similar guitar riffs, lyrics and harmonies. Honestly, the only notable tracks on the album are the 2 singles and the track written by Ed Sheeran. It’s disappointing, as the first 2 singles showed the album having real potential; however it just flopped. Album closer ‘Take Me Home’ is trying hard to be an ‘end of summer’ song; but it just makes me want to switch to another track, not listen and reminisce. Undeniably this album will do well with One Direction’s huge teenage market, but probably not with anybody else.
Sorry 1D, you’ve disappointed.