By DENALI BOLLENS
When One Direction released its fourth album, Four, on November 17, the band made it apparent that it is moving away from its youthful musical style that made it popular in the first place. Since One Direction received a double platinum award for the song “Up All Night” in 2012, the members have barely been able to catch their breath while on tour.
One Direction’s new album, however, has fallen short of my expectations. Four is an awkward album, perhaps because One Direction, like many other boy bands, is having difficulty evolving its music as the members grow from boys to men.
Overall, I have enjoyed One Direction’s fast, upbeat music including “Best Song Ever” and “What Makes You Beautiful,” but I dislike its slower songs like “Fireproof” and “Spaces.” One Direction fan Tia Divok (Sr.) said that “when she saw the boys over the summer, she found herself yawning during the slow songs.” The only slow songs that have been met with popular approval and that I enjoy listening to are “18” and “Little Things,” both of which were co-written by Ed Sheeran.
On one hand, many of the songs in Four seem like failed attempts to be more mature than the songs the band has created in the past. Elsewhere in the new album, however, One Direction does not seem entirely ready to let go of its boy band days. “Girl Almighty,” with its giddy guitar-pop bounce and its foot-stomping fun, takes puppy love to new levels. Meanwhile, “No Control” is hard for young girls to resist due to its upbeat peppiness. Overall, the album does not have one coherent style, and the mix of songs seems random.
Carmel Lee (Jr.) said, “The new album does not come close to the rest of 1D’s albums.” Many others have agreed, saying the new single from Four, “Steal My Girl” cannot compare to “What Makes You Beautiful.” As the members of One Direction mature, their fans are beginning to feel that the band is taking the wrong direction in its stylistic choices.