If you haven’t heard of One Direction by now, you probably don’t keep up with the current Top Ten Billboards. But more likely, you aren’t a teenage girl. Based on first impressions, anyone would say that One Direction is just another boy band…been there, done that, don’t want to go back. (Trust me; I felt the same way when I first saw the five Brits on the X-Factor.) And it is true that One Direction is a boy band in the sense that the majority of their fans are female, and that the group is all male; however One Direction shattered all of the other boy band stereotypes with their debut album, Up All Night.
The album, released March 13, 2012 in North America through Columbia Records, is definitely not like any other boy band album I’ve ever listened to, in fact, it’s good. Though your ears might trick you into thinking that you’re listening to *NSYNC or The Backstreet Boys, a closer listen to the lyrics will shatter those images. Don’t be fooled by their school boyish grins on the album cover, these five boys are NOT hiding their sub-par, “fluff” lyrics behind a really catchy beat.
The songs on this album venture from themes of heartbreak, to romance, to teen angst, to a plea for forgiveness, which is all fine and good, but the kicker is that the album combines these legitimate lyrics with riffs and chords that keep your feet moving. This album has the best of both worlds; For when you want to jump around, you can listen to “One Thing“, “Up All Night”, or their hit single “What Makes You Beautiful” and for when you want to be a little calmer, “Gotta Be You“, “Moments“, or “More Than This” fit that bill.
My personal favorites on the album are “One Thing” and “Gotta Be You”. “One Thing” is impossible to listen to without tapping your foot. And though the concept, not being able to get your crush out of your head, is nothing new, One Direction put their own unique twist on it. “Gotta Be You” is on the slower end of the album. Unlike so many before them have done, One Direction managed to keep their love song from being corny and cliché. “Gotta Be You” features some of the more powerful lyrics on the album. Such as the cry for forgiveness and insistence that, “If you walk away I swear I’ll fade ‘cause there is nobody else.” And another stand out being, “Actions speak louder than words and you’re about to break from all you’ve heard.”
The critics out there do have some room to speak though; the album features just a touch too much auto tune and some of the lyrics almost make you cringe. But the complaints stop there, and for a debut album from a group that’s only been together for two years, “a touch too much” and “almost” are not bad complaints to have. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you give Up All Night a listen.