One Di­rec­tion sign off in style with ‘History’ al­bum

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - ADRIAN THRILLS

LON­DON: They have trot­ted re­lent­lessly around the globe, recorded five albums in as many years and made the awk­ward tran­si­tion from youth to man­hood in the gold­fish bowl of celebrity.

As they fi­nally ride off into the sun­set, it’s no won­der One Di­rec­tion sound ex­hausted.

A sense of tired­ness is most pal­pa­ble on History, the fi­nal track on the boy band’s last al­bum be­fore they take an open-ended break. Co-writ­ten by Liam Payne and Louis Tom­lin­son, it is a world-weary por­trayal of life in their gilded cage.

“Mini-bars, ex­pen­sive cars, ho­tel rooms, some new tat­toos,” they sing. “Good Cham­pagne and pri­vate planes – they don’t mean any­thing.”

If the sense of en­nui is some­what re­lieved by an in­sanely catchy cho­rus, the un­der­ly­ing mes­sage is that the group are prob­a­bly right to call it a day.

On the ev­i­dence of Made In The A. M., they are at least go­ing out on a mu­si­cal high. The band’s fifth al­bum – and their first since founder mem­ber Zayn Ma­lik walked out – builds on the more ma­ture rock in­flu­ences that were in­tro­duced on 2013’s Mid­night Mem­o­ries and last year’s Four to move the four­some even fur­ther away from the blaz­ers and chore­ographed rou­tines that were the hall­marks of boy bands not so long ago.

There are yearn­ing bal­lads, ra­dio-friendly cho­ruses and a fond­ness for a hy­brid of pop and rock that lies some­where be­tween Take That and Cold­play.

The quar­tet, aged be­tween 21 and 23, be­gin by stak­ing a claim on the man-band ter­rain of Take That: Hey An­gel is an ex­pan­sive bal­lad un­der­pinned by a drum loop, and Infinity a smooth love song. End Of The Day, a gen­tly ebbing pop num­ber, em­braces the one-size-fit­sall emo­tions of a typ­i­cal Cold­play track.

Things take a more in­trigu­ing twist on the sin­gle Per­fect, which plays on the band’s tran­si­tion from squeaky-clean re­al­ity TV idols to wannabe bad boys.

Fur­ther clues to how a fu­ture Styles solo project might sound ar­rive on If I Could Fly, an An­gels-like pi­ano bal­lad that finds him singing for­lornly if im­pres­sively: “If I could fly, I’d come right back home to you.”

The boy clearly needs a break, but the bright, un­pre­ten­tious pop stomp of Olivia, co- writ­ten by Harry, sug­gests the pin-up is not go­ing to take him­self too se­ri­ously once that solo ca­reer gets go­ing.

One Di­rec­tion ad­dress their im­pend­ing sab­bat­i­cal on Long Way Down, a coun­try-pop bal­lad on which they sing of “hav­ing it all and walk­ing away”.

Never Enough, co-writ­ten by Niall Ho­ran, is all bar­ber­shop vo­cals and click­ing fin­gers, while the close har­monies of What A Feel­ing sail closer to Crosby, Stills & Nash than they do to Boy­zone or Westlife.

Con­sid­er­ing their first two albums stuck to a pol­ished, bub­blegum script, One Di­rec­tion’s progress over the fi­nal two years of an as­ton­ish­ingly suc­cess­ful ca­reer has been re­mark­able. In the here to­day, gone tomorrow world of boy bands, it will be a while be­fore we see their like again. – Daily Mail

MEGAS­TARS: One Di­rec­tion are tak­ing an open-ended break af­ter a hugely suc­ces­ful ca­reer.

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