One Direction ‘Take Me Home’ – Album Review
One Direction burst out of seemingly nowhere to take the entire planet by storm (though, of course, we've been following them for quite a while here at PopCrush). While those on the other side of the pond were lucky enough to familiarize themselves with the group (in arguable order of heartthrob status: Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan) on 'X Factor U.K.,' it took the states a bit more time to warm up to 1D.
And warm up they did -- to a fever pitch. One Direction went on to sell out Madison Square Garden faster than anyone else in history (including their pal Justin Bieber), had the fastest selling digital preorder of all time and were the first ever U.K. band to debut at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard chart.
Further, their debut, ‘Up All Night,’ was the top selling debut album of 2012 in the U.S. (so far). Their live DVD went triple Platinum in the U.S. and double Platinum in their native U.K., making it the biggest selling music DVD of the year. They celebrated their sales -- 12 million in total, broken down into 8 million singles, 3 million albums and 1 million DVDs -- in August.
While 'Up All Night' was innocent, sugary fun, 'Take Me Home' is more of the same, but generally with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge adult edge. The guys in One Direction know exactly what they're doing when they encourage everyone to "get some," and that's what makes a teen pop album like this appeal to more than just screaming girls.
1. 'Live While We're Young'
The album opens with 'Live While We're Young,' the stately lead single, and it provides a good vibe for the rest of the record: sugary, energetic and a little sexy ("Tonight let's get some!"). [Listen Here]
2. 'Kiss You'
'Kiss You' has a bit of a pop-punky feel to it, and will likely lead teens and tweens everywhere to pogo their hearts out. The guys are smitten, telling a lucky lady, that they want to show her off to their friends to see them "drooling on their chinny-chin-chins." Cute!
3. 'Little Things'
Penned by 1D pal Ed Sheeran, 'Little Things' is a simple acoustic ballad that, like 'What Make You Beautiful,' appeals to a girl's insecurities. "You still have to squeeze into your jeans / But you're perfect to me." It's a lovely song, for sure, but can we please start enjoying ladies who actually like themselves too? [Listen Here]
4. 'C'mon, C'mon'
The boys in One Direction really want to dance with you. When you hear the melody to this hook, there's no way any hotblooded woman, man, child, puppy will be able to say no.
5. 'Last First Kiss'
The lads implore a platonic pal for more in 'Last First Kiss,' a midtempo ballad that's going to be huge on the prom circuit, especially considering the somewhat tongue-in-cheek, "Baby, let me be your first kiss / Want to be first, yeah / First to take it all the way like this." Ow ow!
6. 'Heart Attack'
The boys are jealous of a really hot ex who has -- for reasons we will never understand --moved on to someone else. The "Ow!" in the hook is addictive -- and precisely what we see when we watch the guys frolic in the pool shirtless in their 'Live While We're Young' video. It's like they knew.
7. 'Rock Me'
It's pretty ironic that a boy band are singing about "heavy metal" (though in fairness, they're not talking about the music), and we're not sure they're in on the joke. In any case, there's clear Queen influences here, which is never a bad thing, but think more along the lines of 'We Will Rock You' than 'Good Old Fashioned Loverboy' or 'Killer Queen,' which are two styles in which One Direction would likely shine much brighter.
8. 'Change My Mind'
Another confusing "Are we friends or are we more?" dilemma. A word to the wise: Friends with benefits never works long-term, and in the case of inspiration, it makes for a so-so track. It's by no means bad, but it's really reminiscent of 'Same Mistakes' -- which was a great song in itself, but we don't need to get weepy twice over the same melody.
9. 'I Would'
'I Would' opens with acoustic guitars and lamenting over a crush whose boyfriend "drives to school every morning / while I walk in the rain." It starts slow but builds tempo as the song enters the hook, in which the boys pretty much promise they would do just about everything and anything for this girl ... but then her boyfriend, with "27 tattoos" puts a kick me sign on their backs. This one will get stuck in your head.
10. 'Over Again'
"So can we do it all over again?" the Brits (and lone Irishman -- we didn't forget about you, Niall Horan!) beseech an on-off lover. It's got minimal production in the verses, and the blokes' adorable accents are more evident and audible than ever in this track. It's a ballad that's going to pull at heartstrings of lovelorn tweens everywhere, with lyrics that are likely to be scribbled all over their loose leaf paper.
11. 'Back for You'
'Back for You' is uptempo with verses similar to 'Kiss You' in structure, but the song slows down to a midtempo chorus, letting their lucky girlfriends (here's looking at you, Eleanor Calder and Perrie Edwards!) that they'll be back for them. We're too busy singing along to be jealous. Okay, maybe we're a little jealous.
12. 'They Don't Know About Us'
The boys get self-referential: "They don't know about the up all nights," they sing in the hook. We see what you did there, 1D. It's not quite as catchy as their other songs, but to be fair, they did set that bar pretty high.
13. 'Summer Love'
A ballad dedicated to cruel autumnal ends of summer romances, One Direction wail, "It feels like snow in September!" This is one track in particular that even hardcore Directioners can sort of agree reeks of pandering, but that doesn't mean it doesn't sound good. Expect to hear this a lot at the end of August 2012 and beyond.
Watch the One Direction 'Little Things' Video