One Direction’s sophomore album, Take Me Home, hit stores less than a year after their debut hit the United States. The English-Irish boy band has been taking the world by storm, racking up number one hits, platinum albums, and sold out world tours.
Like a good amount of pop figures before them, One Direction sang about love and girls on their debut album Up All Night, a pop tradition they carried over to Take Me Home. They alternate between singing about deep, love-filled connections with another person and singing about casual sex. Songs like “Live While We’re Young” and “Kiss You” place heavy emphasis on being young and having fun. At first I was like, “Woah, I don’t think the parents are going to be too appreciative of their little Directioners singing along about casual sex,” but then I remembered a little song called “2 Become 1” that was a playground favorite in my elementary school years and banished the concern from my mind.
Several of the songs seem to be taking inspiration from earlier pop days, in the 80s and 90s. “Rock Me” in particular takes a more intense route than previous One Direction songs. It reminds me of old school New Kids on the Block tunes, especially with the “Hit the pedal, heavy metal” lines within it that don’t particularly make sense to me.
The disappointment for me lay in the slower songs, but this might be personal preference more than anything. For me, pop music is about high energy and catchy choruses. The sappy, saccharine sweet nothings sung in slower, higher pitches don’t do anything for me, except make me think about the fact that these sentiments are being written by someone else. The Ed Sheeran-penned “Little Things” is full of “I’m in love with yous” and exploring the many reasons as to why. “Last First Kiss” is just too much. I’m fairly certain that “Summer Love” is the ballad that Britney Spears responded to with “Autumn Goodbye,” regardless of the fact that it came out roughly fourteen years prior to it (for those of you wondering what this is, it’s the b-side to the “…Baby One More Time” single, YouTube it—you won’t regret it).
Overall, Take Me Home is another fun pop album that begs to be sung along to, preferably at top volume. One Direction tends to vary the types of songs they sing, interspersing fun, high energy hooks with slower ballads and slightly quirky up tempo numbers (think “Heart Attack” with its high pitched “OWs!” going on throughout the chorus), ensuring that the album doesn’t fall flat in the middle with too much of the same.
Rating: 8/10 – Those slow songs, man. Some of them were flaws for me.