4/5 stars

 

Every girl has had an obsession with a group of young, talented and attractive male singers. This timeless group, the boy band, dominates her iTunes, and she collects all kinds of items with their faces printed on it. Though these days may be over for some, women of all ages can agree that boy bands have captured their hearts with charming vocals and lyrics.
Joining the likes of  *NSYNC and the Jonas Brothers is One Direction. Its members — Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis — all hail either from Ireland or England, and you’ve definitely heard their very first single, “What Makes You Beautiful.” As girls worldwide continue to swoon over One Direction — or 1D — these gentlemen, all under 21, are giving their fans another reason to love them: their new album Take Me Home.
One Direction continues to address the theme of love in their new singles, but now with a self-described “heavier” sound. In typical boy band fashion, they do not all play instruments, but the increased guitar and drum additions in this record give depth to the boys’ pure and youthful harmonies.
The album’s lead single, “Live While We’re Young,” met international success. Although they owe most of the track’s chart-topping achievements to tweenagers who believe the boys are singing specifically to them, the song definitely deserves its accolades. With a melody that begs the listener to dance along and lyrics that sink in after a few listens, “Live While We’re Young” differs from 1D’searlier hits in its emphasized harmonies and its defined use of electronic guitar.
“Kiss You” expertly balances punchy instrumentals, intense drumbeats and lively vocals. And the ballad “Over Again” provides a nice change of pace from the more upbeat music on the rest of the album. Singing over a beautiful piano melody, the boys reach out to their girl with poignant lyrics, offering to “mend [her] broken heart.”
In “Little Things,” the band attempts to fuse their pop style with folk. Praising their romantic interest, the track does feature a lovely guitar part and showcase the boys’ mature vocals. The lyrics, however, miss the mark. Intended to be endearing, the words end up sounding either cheesy or just plain strange. I don’t know how I’d take it if a boy told me that he would endlessly love “the dimples at the bottom of [my] spine.”
Take Me Home will not disappoint 1D’s more avid fans, and it will also be a pleasant surprise for those who complain about their homogenous songs. Genuinely adorable, the boys have worked their way into the hearts of many American teenagers and with this new record have proved they’re here to stay.

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