Album Review: One Direction ‘Take Me Home’
It really doesn’t matter if this album is any good. Millions of people are going to buy it without reading a review or hearing more than one song, and an equal number of people are going to passionately denounce it with about the same level of ignorance. That’s the blessing and the curse of being a global phenomenon. While Take Me Home doesn’t have to be any good to be a hit, the record is actually remarkably strong.
I’m not saying it’s a great album, but here 1D are quite far ahead of the boybands of yore. This is a group based purely around an image, around making young girls fall in love for the first time and profess themselves to their favorite Ken doll, and any sort of musicality is about the last thing most people expect here, or even appreciate as fans. That’s a shame, because this is very current pop music, beat driven and layered with smatterings of diverse influences.
‘Live While We’re Young’ is the first single and one I’d bet money you have heard one too many times already, but it’s a strong anthem for a lot of people and represents the content of Take Me Home fairly well, at least in terms of sound.
In terms of the message they send– which is probably more important here than on many records, with the marketing aiming for the most impressionable minds out there– most of the album is spent on lustful pickup lines and innuendo, which might be a misstep. They begin to feel more grown up and less like children’s entertainment, which is good in a certain light, but their audience is still primarily going to be very young and it almost gets to feel inappropriate in that context.
‘Rock Me’ is based on the beat of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’, but rather than a tale of victory and perseverance it’s one of many songs about wanting to get laid. ‘Last First Kiss’ is the second single, and it skirts along the surface as it tries to sound like a wholesome and romantic song, but with a second of consideration it is pretty blatantly all about taking a girl’s virginity.
‘Little Things’ is almost disgustingly tryhard in its approach to making girls fall in love with the band. The concept here seems to be to list as many things a girl might relate to as possible, and then say they are the best and most perfect things the boys can imagine. Maybe they are, all of them, really in love with a bunch of fat, awkward girls, and while that message is a good one, I have a hard time finding authenticity in it.
I might be looking for the wrong things in a One Direction album, though. I’ll do the next paragraph in-character as a 13-year-old girl.
EEEEEEEE!! WHY AM I CRYING?!
The more romantic songs, and the ballads, seem less impactful and altogether uninteresting. The band’s true strength is in loud peppy singalongs, of which there are many. Though, I might also caution that you can’t really get away with listening to any two songs back to back. It is a very enjoyable record when digested one track at a time, but listening to the full run of the album in one session reveals that the band’s one direction might really be one dimension, and it gets so plodding and repetitive that it will fail to hold the attention of most listeners.
While the album is better than it had to be, it’s not going to garner any serious attention from people outside of their existing fanbase. They go just far enough with their music to avoid being critically panned across the board, but they refuse to go any further than that, making the experience a fairly flat and unremarkable one in the end.
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Image Courtesy of Columbia