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Friday, November 16, 2012

One Direction - Take Me Home

           The time has come and there is no trying to hide from it. One Direction is out with a brand new album, Take Me Home, and millions upon millions of teenage girls are calling in sick to school, suffering from hot flashes. With two albums releasing in the US in the same calendar year, any person that isn’t a diehard Directioner may be a little reluctant to listen to new material. After all, good things take time, right? Their sound is the definition of powerhouse pop, but have they set the bar too high, too early? Read on to see if their sophomore effort sinks like the Titanic or swims good like Frank Ocean (we can’t resist puns).
            “Kiss You,” the next single off of Take Me Home (according to idolator.com) follows the same tracks as “Live While We’re Young” and throws our ears into Pop overload. Like the first single, it’s a driving beat with infectious harmonies on the chorus that grabs your attention. The melodies are what make the song a complete standout, however. It’s a fast paced track, but the lyrics don’t feel forced. There is a controlled chaos in a sense when it all comes together. Girls will definitely be happy hearing this on the radio. It’s hard to determine if this is the proper next single, however. It’s especially harder when the album has so many great songs.
            Being the avid fans of Ed Sheeran that we are at Musical Druggernauts, we can’t pass on reviewing one of his penned tracks. “Little Things,” written when he was only 15 years old, is possibly the most poignant and beautifully written record on the entire album. From the first pluck of the guitar, Sheeran’s musical sensibilities shine through, giving an added warmth and honesty to it. Lyrically, this is one of those songs that every guy should learn so he can swoon that girl he has been pining for. “I know you’ve never loved the crinkles by your eyes when you smile/ You’ve never loved your stomach or your thighs/The dimples in your back at the bottom of your spine/But I’ll love them endlessly, “ he writes. Proof that talent doesn’t have an age restriction.
            Sticking to a multi-layered acoustic guitar sound in the background shows that simplicity is sometimes the best answer. There is no need for handclaps or boisterous drums here. As eloquent as this song is, it really does serve a greater purpose in bringing the One Direction sound full circle. Without “Little Things” this album wouldn’t feel quite finished.

But what song is the stand out on the album you ask? It’s hard to put baby in a corner, but if a gun was at our heads, we’d have to go with the sentimental hit, “Last First Kiss.” The song is catchy, but the lyrical idea is what sets it apart from the rest. This notion of a last first kiss is something that a ton of female teenage fans will let fester in their minds, thinking that Zayne or one of the other boys will make this a reality for them. Yeah…probably not going to happen, but hey, keep thinking happy thoughts.
           The song's buildup is spot on. A simple acoustic guitar leads the charge followed by a drumbeat that helps to propel the song even further. It’s not until the chorus hits that the raw emotion of the song turns into a full-fledged pop masterpiece. By not throwing everything at the listener at once, the anticipation grows exponentially. “Last First Kiss” has a sound that is crisp, but not overly clean. A rocking electric guitar riff nearing the end also helps to drive home the point that quality is not sacrificed in making a commercially appeasing record.

            Lyrically, the idea of a last first kiss is ingenious. (Why couldn’t I think of that?!?!) It does a multitude of things: satisfies the dreams of every teenage girl and also serves as a platform that they are maturing. The chorus goes as follows: 

            “Girl what would you do?
            Would you wanna stay if I were to say,
            I wanna be last, yeah
Baby, let me be your, let me be your last first kiss
I wanna be first, yeah
Wanna be the first to take it all the way like this”

Although some critics have said it seems to insinuate that it’s about going all the way with a girl, I see the lyrics in a different light. If anything, they point to a more mature undertone, where they are looking to find that right girl. They also come off as vulnerable by asking said person what they would do if they asked them this very question—something all reticent guys could take a page out of. Step yo game up!
Some other songs that stuck out include: “Heart Attack,” “Back For You,” “Change My Mind,” “They Don’t Know About Us,” “Rock Me” and “Nobody Compares.” Honestly, just listen to the entire album. Sure, it may be a guilty pleasure to some, but anyone who appreciates great Pop, will definitely appreciate Take Me Home. This is the definitive Pop album of the year! Until then Druggernauts!

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