Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Pop Corner: One Direction - Up All Night


I can find a Mediafire link for Damo Suzuki bootlegs, 12 Rods debut album and The Fall Peel sessions, but I can't find a link for One Direction? What's up with that?!?! How can this monumental group (not band, group) not have their album uploaded to the Internet. It's baffling me to a point of insanity. Have we moved on from the XFactor age? No. Does success equal greatness and critical acclaim? No. Are One Direction a 'boyband'? No. Can Eddie be open minded just this one time? No. XFactor destroys creativity and takes everything credible artists work for, injecting money to create fake, dull and predictable music.. Which in turn, is successful.

One Direction is a product of Simon Cowell's Syco label. I could end the review here, but I won't. We have five 17 - 20 year olds singing songs of love and... Actually, just love. Pop music has sentimental value and I can't complain and physically act upon what's played on the radio, but I can explain why I don't like this. The opening track 'What Makes You Beautiful' has been written by five individuals with no relation to One Direction. I don't think the general population know One Direction didn't write this song or any song on this album, and that's the deal breaker. How can a song about love which needs passion and energy be sang by a group of lads who have no passion or energy other than 'getting famous'. This eats away at me because gorgeous love songs written by Chan Marshall and Nick Drake are hidden away in record stores, when One Direction turn up to the studio (in Sweden) and sing monotonously about 'insecure girls'.

The track does have a catchy little guitar riff, however it's been used before and has a predictable structure. Theres not a lot of difference between One Direction and JLS. 'Gotta Be You' is respectful to the industry. Instead of the childish instrumentation and average IQ of 60 target audience, this track has strings and a raised chorus that appeals to a mature audience. It still lacks passion and I'm not convinced on the production, but the 'catchy' chorus distances itself from other top40 tracks. 'One Thing' brings the lads back down to Earth. The song structure and chorus, which I'm now calling 'The Katy Perry Effect', just pounds on in blandness. The lyrics are incredibly predictable but I can see how it appeals to the teenage population.

The singles are now over. Never has the term 'album filler' been more applicable to an album other than this. 'More Than This' is overproduced, the bass sounds way to heavy in comparison to the weak vocals. The computerized strings are aged and the track doesn't appeal to me at all, there's not one thing I can compliment. Same goes for the title track 'Up All Night'. It has references to Katy Perry being on the radio, which in itself doesn't surprise me. The raising synthesizer works but the chorus is expected and happens with similarities to every chorus in modern pop music. 'I Wish' is exactly the same. It has the same beat but in a slower tempo. We hear some clear electric guitar work, but its subdued by the electronic drum beat.

'Tell Me A Lie' has the same guitar opening which has been effected to sound like a synthesizer. The beat hits like a damp towel. Predictability is something I despise and when beats sound exactly the same, I can't appreciate it's artistic value. 'Taken' has the chord progression used in almost every track so far. raw drumming is featured but is obscured by the vocal harmonies and bass. You may question why I'm not focusing on the vocals. It's because pop vocals sound exactly the same and I can't spend time listening to the same thing over and over again. You wouldn't watch an episode of The Simpson's on repeat would you?

'I Want' to stop listing to this album... But I must continue, the MRD readers must know what I think about One Direction. I want has vocal repetition and I can imagine it being released as a single a little closer to summer. The vocals are much better here than anywhere else on the album. They fit with the structure and don't follow a basic pattern. The electric guitar solo surprised me but it's pretty standard and unoriginal to say the least. 'Everything About You', 'Same Mistakes', 'Save You Tonight' and 'Stole My Heart' end the album. Let's start with Stole My Heart. Taio Cruz - Dynamite. Everything About You has a 'Vengaboys' vibe but the vocals enter and I cringe. Same Mistakes could be passed off as a Take That single, that isn't a compliment by the way. I can't stand 'ballads' sung by kids that didn't write the 'ballad'. Save You Tonight has 80's esque synths and the bass is lovely, but the beat is again repetitive and used in every single track.

How does this differ from JLS or Take That or Taio Cruz? It doesn't. It's not original and it's certainly not unique. It may be number one in several countries, it may have a BRIT award, but does it have critical approval, proper critical approval? No, because it can't and it doesn't deserve critical attention. Verse/chorus/verse structures are common and they make singles, but they don't have to be cringe worthy and pretentious. This is a pop album with three to four radio singles and nine terrible tracks of lyrical nonsense. 

'The Boy Bands Have Won, and All the Copyists and the Tribute Bands and the TV Talent Show Producers Have Won, If We Allow Our Culture to Be Shaped by Mimicry, Whether from Lack of Ideas or From Exaggerated Respect. You Should Never Try to Freeze Culture. What You Can Do Is Recycle That Culture. Take Your Older Brother's Hand-Me-Down Jacket and Re-Style It, Re-Fashion It to the Point Where It Becomes Your Own. But Don't Just Regurgitate Creative History, or Hold Art and Music and Literature as Fixed, Untouchable and Kept Under Glass. The People Who Try to 'Guard' Any Particular Form of Music Are, Like the Copyists and Manufactured Bands, Doing It the Worst Disservice, Because the Only Thing That You Can Do to Music That Will Damage It Is Not Change It, Not Make It Your Own. Because Then It Dies, Then It's Over, Then It's Done, and the Boy Bands Have Won'. ~Chumbawamba
~Eddie

0.5

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