March 6th, 2012
Having the term boy band slapped on your group can work against four or five guys trying to make it in the music biz. Winning a singing competition doesn’t exactly help either when trying to build credibility with producers and critics. Being known for shutting down streets (ahem*MuchMusic*ahem) because swarms of teenage girls want to profess their love for you doesn’t exactly scream future Grammy nominee. But somehow the five members of One Direction, who first met while competing on the UK version of the X Factor, have defied the odds and released an accomplished pop album with their debut Up All Night.
Channeling UK acts Take That, The Wanted and JLS, the five teenagers, including Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, signed with X Factor judge Simon Cowell after placing third on the reality show and wasted no time getting to work on what will easily be one of the biggest debuts in pop history. Teaming up with Brit Awards poster child Ed Sheeran and Kelly Clarkson on writing credits along with Lady Gaga producer RedOne, One Direction seamlessly blend lyrics of love and heartache with a traditional pop feel infused with the dance sound of their native UK. The member’s individual singing strengths compliment one another, often sharing the chorus duties among the entire group.
One Direction’s first two singles, What Makes You Beautiful and One Thing, feature the carefree attitude synonymous with the boy band genre, while tracks Same Mistakes and I Want go deeper than just a bubble gum album. One Direction member Liam Payne earnestly channels former boy-bander turned solo artist Robbie Williams on the song Taken, while unofficial frontman Harry Styles takes the lead on many of the tracks.
Best Tracks: Same Mistakes, I Want, Taken, One Thing, What Makes You Beautiful
Sounds Like: The Wanted, Robbie Williams, Girls Aloud, Justin BieberTweet