If Justin Bieber isn’t bad enough, we have five irritating pipsqueak versions of him in the latest manufactured kiddie confection from Syco – One Direction. These are the annoying twats that almost won their season of The X-Factor UK before coming in third, only to humiliate the winner Matt Cardle by outselling him by a mile.
Listening to this CD, I can see why these annoying brats are so successful at the moment, though. One Direction is making that brand of evergreen music that captures the spirit of uncomplicated, cheesy, and utterly unabashed cotton candy pop, the kind of music that can only be pulled off by boybands. Boybands are pure cheese, and the band of people that were paid to give these kids music to perform have happily plundered the dead ghosts of boybands past to turn One Direction into the new Backstreet Boys.
Indeed, Max Martin would have been proud with the kids here. These kids even sound uncannily like Brian Littrell and AJ McLean, with a Nick Carter thrown in now and then. Songs like More Than This and One Thing would have fit right in with the Backstreet Boys’s repertoire. It helps that the songs here are actually very good in the sense that they are catchy ear candies with killer choruses. Those kids don’t sound half-bad either as wedding singer versions of the Backstreet Boys. And really, all the cheese comes to a glorious climax in the fabulous Save You Tonight, which is what happens when Jay Sean collaborates with the Backstreet Boys.
One warning though: don’t listen closely to the words of the songs in this CD. While it is one thing for hormonal teens to sing about wanting that one thing from a pretty girl they have met just minutes before, but these kids look like prepubescent midgets in the CD sleeve art and in publicity photos. Lines like “I can’t be no Superman, but for you I’ll be super human” are just cringe-inducing in their awfulness, so much so that even the cheesy goodness of the hooks and production values of these songs can’t mask the unintentional hilarity of the often horrendous lyrics.
File this one under music that I won’t publicly admit to enjoying. It’s okay, it’s not like they will linger around long anyway. Boybands never do, and until then, this CD will be my secret shame and I can live with that.