Even when I was in the age range during which it was potentially acceptable to like boy bands, I didn’t particularly fall in love with the music, or the boys, for that matter; I never could tell the difference between ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, a fact that once offended many of my friends. For those reasons (and a few others), it doesn’t seem entirely my business to be reviewing them. Yet, at the same time, I have an oddly strong feeling of approval for their existence. “Why?” you might ask. That’s a good question.
The way I see it, if the popular radio stations run out of friendly pop candy to play, the alternative is, shall we say, unfriendly pop candy. Let’s face it: they’re never going to replace the playing of pop artists with up-and-coming Jazz artists or something “sophisticated” like that, no matter how young and “hip” we’re calling these prodigies. It’s just not going to happen. That’s why I fully encourage “innocent” boy bands, such as One Direction, to take over the radio. While I have to laugh every time I hear the boys of One Direction share that a girl’s hair-flip overwhelms them in “What Makes You Beautiful,” it’s a much better feeling reaction than the overwhelming cringe I experience as I endure Minaj describe the “dude” that she’s looking for in “Super Bass.” The more One Direction that plays, the less Nicki Minaj. I think that these boys deserve some extra recognition.
If you haven’t heard of One Direction, you probably don’t have a teenage daughter. It’s understandable, really; these guys came out of nowhere! It is partially true, actually. The five members, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, all auditioned as individuals for the 2010 series of X Factor, a British TV talent search series. They did not make it as individuals, but Simon Cowell decided to push them through as a group, called One Direction, and signed them to his label. ”What Makes You Beautiful” is their sole released single at the moment, but it has done quite some work from them. Their debut studio album, Up All Night, has been immensely popular worldwide, attracting a primarily teenage audience. The album topped the U.S. Billboard 200 chart in first week on the list, a feat that qualified the British-Irish band for a Guinness World Record.
At the end of this month we’ll see the release of the lead single, “Live While We’re Young” of their second album, Take Me Home, scheduled for release in November this year. If the boys of One Direction are keeping up their clean boy band act, I wish them the best of success!