Sunday, April 8, 2012
One Direction - Up All Night
If any of you have read any of my previous articles, you know I am an extreme metal gal. The darker the better. Men dressed as goth corpses normally strike my fancy. So why do I desperately love a pop band, a pop boy band at that? Because they are really very superb, that's why.
One Direction started out as five solo singers on The X-Factor UK in 2010. They were all on the brink of being sent home, when Simon Cowell decided to save them by putting them together as a group. Four-fifths of One Direction, Liam Payne, Louis (pronounced Lou-ie) Tomlinson, Harry Styles, and Zayn Malik are from England, with the exception being Niall Horan, who is from Ireland. These lads have got a ton going for them: good looks, pure talent, determination, and Simon Cowell's belief.
I don't like singing shows, to be honest. I like my singers to make the rounds the old fashioned way, playing at dives until they catch the eye of a record label. My facebook had an ad with these guys on it when they were still on the X-Factor, with the label, "Meet the next Justin Beibers" I opened it, because I don't like to be behind on the uptake, even if I don't listen to mainstream. (Don't make me relive my school's reaction to me not knowing who The Situation was earlier this year!) I expected a laugh, and some cringes. What I did not expect was to be blown away by the talent these guys possess at their age. When they first got together in 2010, they ranged from 16 to 18 years old.
What's even better, One Direction sound amazing live. At the KCA's they blew Katy Perry out of the water performance-wise. Lots of pop singers are disappointments live, when you discover your favorite artist is nothing without the bells and whistles from a studio. Nope, One Direction are as perfect live as they are on CD. Even better in my opinion. The auto-tune or whatever diminishes their individual voice's sound a teeny bit. I almost couldn't tell Liam from Niall just by listening, and that bothered me, considering they each have little aspects that make their voice unique and wonderful.
Having this gig as a writer, someone gave me a free download of their single, "One Thing" as an acoustic version. I loved it; raw talent just pours out of these guys like water from a spout. In the accompanying video, the lads were singing their super-hit, "What Makes You Beautiful" acoustically. One Direction were slumped on couches, relaxing, most of them not even wearing shoes, and they still sounded exceptional.
"More Than This", a ballad on the album, sticks out among the other ballads, it truly showcases how great these guys' voices are. It's heart-wrenchingly despair-filled. "When he opens his arms and holds you close tonight, it just won't feel right, cause I can love you more than this. When he lays you down I might just die inside, it just don't feel right, cause I can love you more than this." Oh, come on, it pulls your heart strings a bit now, doesn't it?
"What Makes You Beautiful" is a made-for-summer hit that sounds like it would be right at home being blasted out of a car with the top down as it heads to the beach. The video is set on the beach, too, confirming my thoughts on it. Another thing I really liked about the video was the girls in it. Everyone has seen the 'music video girls'. You know, the drop-dead gorgeous, enviable figured girls you just know went home with one of the band members due to their shimmying and shaking all over the place. The girls in "What Makes You Beautiful" are very pretty, yes, but they aren't overly made up, nor are they scantily clad, popping and locking all over the camera. They're the kind of girls you see and say, "Hey, I look like that, those boys must like normal girls!" Morale booster a bit?
The next music video was for their next hit, "One Thing." The boys are dressed as almost like a mod-Beatles, and they are gallivanting around London. The beginning shows the boys running around a park, genuinely being cute and adorable. The rest of video shows scores of One Direction's dedicated fanbase, and how One Direction interact with them. One Direction are very loyal to their fans, constantly tweeting, 'how is everyone? how was your guys' day?' to their followers, in addition to asking them questions, like Zayn's 'I've just shaved my head, not sure what you guys will think, I'll post a pic in a few. tell me what you think. x' It was an April Fools Day joke, as Zayn has a signature hairstyle, but you get the idea.
I noticed that there seems to be a more guitar-oriented sound to One Direction. Instead of all synths, and machines, a lot of songs have catchy, smooth guitar lines that give One Direction a nice edge in the competition of pop singers. They don't look like other pop singers either. Everyone is trying to be the next Lady GaGa, or Justin Beiber, face it, it's the sad truth nowadays for the mainstream. One Direction dresses quite sharply, with nice jackets and plain t-shirts underneath, or patterned jumpers, nice trousers, with plain white or plain black trainers. In some shots, they are seen with suspenders, and bow-ties, like a mod-40's look. Very nice, fitting for the good-looking lads, I would say. Simplicity puts the focus on their music and talents, not how 'outrageous' they can seem like some other stars.
Talks were made in getting the boys their own show on Nickelodeon, a fact that many One Direction fans were NOT happy about. Fears that the boys were going to turn into squeaky clean friends, Big Time Rush were happily put to rest by the band themselves. All five members agreed that they are focused soley on their music careers, and not looking to making any forays into the world of acting, beyond making tv appearances as themselves. I'm happy, because really, I like One Direction the way they are, hopeless romantics in their songs, but in interviews, they're dirty minded and and make jokes about each others sex lives. They're 18-20 and they act like they're 18-20. =)
One Direction are beloved (maybe a bit too much, haha) in their native countries, England, and Ireland. They've debuted in America the past month, to much fanfare, and much adoration. Some fans camped outside the Today Show's building for three days merely to catch a glimpse of One Direction making their North America debut! News is still spreading throughout America about the band, but already they have leagues of hardcore fans here.
Good looks, great songs, love for their fans, One Direction seem poised on the threshold to take over the pop world. They've captured the hearts of millions upon millions of fans around the world, and are now taking the United States by storm. Is there anything these guys can't do?