One Direction – Take Me Home – Full Album Review and Critique

Hey hey, so One Direction’s sophomore album, Take Me Home, has been out for a week, and I’ve got to say, I cannot stop listening to it. It’s so good. Now, this isn’t to say that it doesn’t have its weak points. It definitely does, especially in the lyrics department, but I’m willing to overlook most of that because the tunes are just so darn catchy. And the boys are just so adorable. And they can sing. And…and… ‘sigh‘ I’m absolutely smitten, can you tell?

So today I’m going to write a full-album review of Take Me Home, including the extra tracks on the Yearbook Edition and the Exclusive Target Edition, minus the Live recordings. First, some general opinions of the album, then I’ll go song-by-song.

As I said before, they are a bit lacking in the lyrics department. I mean, I love One Direction, but you can’t expect too much maturation between two albums in one year. Although they did co-write some of the songs, I think we have to blame/credit the other writers for writing to sell to a specific demographic (primarily teeny-boppers, though I’m sure their fan-base is much more expansive, e.g. Me). Much of the album is about kissing, touching, looking good, having fun…in essence, a bit superficial, and love based on physical attraction.

The first few times I listened to the album, I had some fun playing “Harry or Zayn?” The rest of the lads, Liam, Louis, and Niall, all have pretty distinctive voices, but Harry and Zayn sound so similar sometimes! Sometimes. Also, I dub thee, Zayn, the JC Chasez of One Direction. He’s always wailing out riffs in the background of choruses. Or maybe it’s Harry or Liam at times. Who knows? Me likey.

1. Live While We’re Young – The first single off the album is a hedonistic-carpe-diem anthem as many others have already put it. I wasn’t crazy, crazy, crazy about this song when it was first released, but it has grown on me – probably with the help of the music video. First of all, the video starts with them waking up on a campsite. I LOVE CAMPING. Second, their tent is HUGE, and it made me think of the Quidditch World Cup (From Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, for those of you who don’t know). And third, they just look like they’re having so much fun throughout. I’m kind of jealous that they always get to visit all these beautiful scenic places in all their music videos. I also like the part during the bridge where they’re all pretending to paddle like they’re in a canoe or boat. I will always picture this even if I’m not watching the video. And I’m sure they’ll do this at all their shows too.

2. Kiss You – This song gets me dancing right from the start. The title of the album comes from the chorus of this song. I love how it starts off upbeat, then gets me into a slow-motion head-banging trance when the chorus chimes in. My favorite part is when Niall comes in the second verse and sings “chinny-chin-chins.” So cute. Let it be known that any song can be made even better with a few “Na na nas…,” as evident in this song. Definitely one of my favorites.

3. Little Things – The second single released from the album (before the album was even released!) is a slow ballad about falling in love with someone because of all her little quirks and imperfections. This song is a gift from none other than the brilliant Ed Sheeran (I’m a huge fan, by the way). He also wrote Moments for the fellas (which is on the Deluxe version of their debut album). This is not really a favorite, but I like it, as do others, because it’s different and a nice slow-down compared to the rest of the album. The best part is at the end when they all come in for the last chorus.

4. C’mon, C’mon – There’s nothing particularly spectacular about this song, but it has the potential to become that feel-good concert classic. This song actually reminds me of Family Force 5’s Lose Yourself. Completely different music genre, but the story-line is very similar.

5. Last First Kiss – Aww, this one is precious. The story of two friends, and the risk of taking the relationship to the next level. Romantic. The juxtaposition of last and first is, dare I say, kind of clever. It’s one of those songs where you just want to sing the chorus over and over again.

6. Heart Attack – Here’s another fun one. It got me chuckling near the beginning when Harry quotes the girl saying “Let’s just be friends,” because I know guys hate that. Of course, heart break is no laughing matter, but this song makes it bearable by kicking off the chorus with an “Oww!” which comes in periodically throughout the rest of the song. A fun one to sing along with, and try to get over a lost love.

7. Rock You – This song is highly reminiscent of Queen’s We Will Rock You, and it’s not the first song that people have accused One Direction of stealing/borrowing or paying tribute, if you see it in a different light. (The riff in the beginning of Live While We’re Young sounds very much like the Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go). Like the aforementioned song, this one grew on me. I don’t remember what happened during my summer ’09, but I’ll gladly fabricate some memories with this song as a guide…you know, campfire on the beach and jamming to tunes as we cuddle in the sand and look at the stars…hehheh. I particularly like the chord progression during “hit the pedal, heavy metal.” I don’t know why, I just do. This is one of two songs on the album where One Direction shows off their spelling skills. R-O-C-K me again!

8. Change My Mind – I like this song a lot. It seems like a follow-up to Last First Kiss. I’d change my mind too if someone gave me the chance. ❤

9. I Would – This is such a funny song. From (Harry) “He’d kill me without any warning, if he took a look in my brain” to “With a sign on my back saying ‘kick me,’ Reality ruined my life.” So dramatic, Niall. LOL. A fun and jumpy one that’s got me saying I’m in L-O-V-E. This song shows off a common theme that One Direction believes they would be better boyfriends (and maybe it’s true) than the one that the girl is already with. Not sure whether to be flattered or annoyed with this kind of jealousy. Either way, I like this song!

10. Over Again – This is the one song on the album that I don’t like. I just think it’s stupid. Sorry.

11. Back For You – This song reminds me Relient K’s I’m Taking You With Me. Even the solo guitar at the beginning. It’s a cute one that sings about the downside of being on tour, which is being away from your significant other, but that you guys will make it through despite the time and distance. Everyone say AWWWWWW.

12. They Don’t Know About Us – I have mixed feelings about this one. The piano at the beginning is so pretty, and it is sung so beautifully, but the lyrics are laughable, and sometimes even make me annoyed. Let me explain: young people always think they know what love is, but most of the time they are wrong. All the secrecy in this song sort of pisses me off because I hate when people are in secret relationships and don’t tell their friends/family; it’s sort of the mentality that “the-only-thing-that-matters-in-the-world-is-us-two.” WRONG. If you two were really meant to be together, what’s there to hide? And there must be a reason why your friends and family aren’t supportive. I’m sure it’s not because they’ll just be jealous. That’s silly. Hahah, okay, I’m done now with my cynic rant. This song is all right. 

13. Summer Love – When I listen to this song I actually feel like I’m standing on the beach watching the sunset. It’s a bittersweet song to close out the summer (which is way over at the time of this album release), but I’ll gladly revisit the summer and pretend that I had a summer fling to cherish. The car alarm at the end gets me every time.

Bonus Tracks

Yearbook Edition – Man, I feel bad for people who didn’t get this edition, or add these extra songs, because these next four are some of the best and catchiest in my opinion.

14. She’s Not Afraid –  This one starts out sounding like the beginning of a cheesy 80’s song, and that’s why I like it. I’ve never seen Footloose, but I feel like this is the kind of music that got them tapping their feet and dancing. It took me a while to figure it out, but the beginning riff reminds of George Michael’s Faith. Everyone knows at least one fearless girl whose only fear is falling in love, right? Also, Niall’s laugh (or so the internet says).

15. Loved You First – Another one that sounds like an 80’s jam, though this one is best suited for a stadium setting, or perhaps the ending credits for an epic movie.

16. Nobody Compares – I don’t know anyone that looks pretty when she cries, but this one is a winner even if it is a bit shallow. Yeah, you better work hard to get her back.

17. Still the One – Hey you, you’re still the one! That is all. 😀

Exclusive Target Edition

14. Truly, Madly, Deeply – It would’ve been cool if this was a Savage Garden cover, but alas it is not. This is a nice raw recording, nonetheless. It’s like they’re sitting in front of me singing it.

15. Magic – Love pseudo-stuttering in songs. I feel like this would make a GREAT mash-up with B.o.B.’s Magic ft. Rivers Cuomo. Someone is going to steal this idea from me before I get a chance to do it first, I know it. 

16. Irresistible – Another song that highlights different physical features. The lyric that irks me to no end is “and it’s in all the things and other things that make you who you are…” — Really? They couldn’t think of anything else beside “other things” to fit into that line? But whatever. It’s okay, because in the end it’s the eyes that are irresistible.

 

So there you have it. This album is fantastical! Go get yourself a copy!

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