Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

5 One Direction Songs That You Can Admit To Enjoying

onedirection.jpg

The end looks nigh for One Direction.

The sound of weeping teenage girls can be heard all over the globe as the group announced they are to take at least a year's break to pursue solo projects after the release of their fifth album.

Don't know what the hype is all about? Whisper it quietly, but, much as Take That improved over the years just before splitting (for the first time), One Direction's last two albums saw a distinct move towards seriously well-written pop music that the modern man could enjoy just as much as any teenage fan.

In tribute to the guys, and to get you up to speed on exactly what you've been missing out on all this time, ShortList's Dave Fawbert takes you through the band's top five songs to listen to (on your headphones).


What Makes You Beautiful

The song that kicked it all off, and there's no doubt about it - this is a 24-carat straight-up pop banger. Produced and written by the Swedish trio of Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk and Savan Kotecha, this featured punky guitars, a general peak-era Backstreet Boys vibe and a giant pop chorus. They even managed to avoid the temptation to stick in a cheesy key change, something we can't imagine Simon Cowell was happy about. This, perhaps more than any other song, is what propelled them from X Factor 3rd place also-rans to the giant stadium-fillers they eventually became.


Story Of My Life

After two albums of straight-up bubblegum pop, this was the moment where One Direction tackled the inevitable 'growing up' thing that boybands eventually have to do with their sound. Shamelessly ripping off Mumford & Sons (but thankfully leaving out the banjos), this was nonetheless a classy piece of work which yet again, staggeringly, managed to avoid the seemingly inevitable key change towards the end. Co-written by the band themselves, if Van Morrison released this we'd all be declaring it a classic.


Night Changes

The rule, as Pharrell and Robin Thicke know all too well, is that if you're going to rip off a song, make sure you rip off a great song. And to this day, we're still staggered that Yazoo, Depeche Mode and Erasure legend Vince Clarke hasn't been on the phone to his lawyers about One Direction's Night Changes 'bearing an uncanny similarity to' his song Only You. Fortunately for us, Only You is an incredible song and, therefore, so is Night Changes. Restrained production, quality vocal performances and thoughtful lyrics: what more could you want? Oh, and there actually is a key change on this one - and it's cleverly positioned, rather than being the usual third chorus at the end when we've run out of ideas job. Well done all round lads (and Vince).


Steal My Girl

By the time of their current album, Four, One Direction were a stadium-filling concern, so it was high time they had themselves a proper stadium anthem: and Steal My Girl is it. Aping the piano lines of Journey's Don't Stop Believin' (not a bad place to start), adding in a huge everybody-get-your-hands-in-the-air drum beat, and garnished with one of the best choruses of recent times, this is, quite simply, a fantastic song. Mixed with a satisfying amount of low end, this is pop with balls. If that wasn't enough, they got Danny DeVito in for the video. A massive guitar solo would have completed the recipe but maybe Slash was busy that day.


Stockholm Syndrome

No, don't worry, this wasn't an ill-advised cover of the Muse classic, but perhaps a glimpse to the future. Tucked away at the number 11 position on Four, this featured a single band member co-writing credit in the form of Harry Styles. It's a quality piece of driving, relentless electronica with some nifty palm mute guitar work - not a million miles away from Tears For Fears' incredible Everybody Wants To Rule The World; if Harry's inevitable solo record sounds like this, it certainly wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Related

1-velvet.jpg

50 Coolest Album Covers

LALALAND.jpg

The 50 coolest movie soundtracks

rockalbumshero.jpg

The 50 Greatest Rock Albums Ever

hero_coolestalbums.jpg

The 50 Coolest Albums ever

adele1.jpg

Adele's 21 Now The Biggest-Selling Album of Millennium

nile1.jpg

Nile Rodgers' Ultimate Playlist

Comments

More

This Harvard student dropped a rap album as his final dissertation

Now I feel like a mug for writing a 20,000-word essay

by Gary Ogden
22 May 2017

UK music festivals are going to start testing your drugs for purity

It has the potential to save lives

by Gary Ogden
22 May 2017

The 7 most important UK festival sets of the millennium

The musical moments in a field that changed everything

by David Hillier
19 May 2017

These modern albums redesigned with retro covers are glorious

We wish these were the real thing

by Dave Fawbert
19 May 2017

Chris Cornell's isolated vocals to 'Black Hole Sun' are amazing

A reminder of the sheer talent of the Soundgarden frontman

by Dave Fawbert
19 May 2017

Check out the exclusive new Nothing But Thieves video

'Amsterdam' was filmed in a Ukranian industrial warehouse

by Dave Fawbert
18 May 2017

Paying tribute to Chris Cornell, one of the greatest voices in music

And here are six songs from him that you need to listen to immediately

by Dave Fawbert
18 May 2017

There's going to be a secret #Grime4Corbyn party, and you can go

JME and co. are fully behind Labour for this election

by Gary Ogden
15 May 2017

Check out the soulful new EP from Tom Walker

Scottish born, Manchester bred singer-songwriter is your new soul boy

by Dave Fawbert
12 May 2017

Psy is back and ready to take over the internet again

The man behind 'Gangnam Style' is back with another earworm

by Gary Ogden
11 May 2017