When I recently returned home for the Easter break, I arrived to find my 14 year-old sister in a complete frenzy. All she would talk about was this new, British boy band called One Direction. The whole weekend she was either listening to their music on repeat or glued to her laptop screen watching their YouTube videos in a zombie-like trance for hours on end. Having displayed this same behavior myself in the late 90s and early 2000s over the likes of Backstreet Boys and N*Sync, I let her carry on without getting in her face about the superiority of my current musical taste.
By day four of break I started to get annoyed. My sister was still in a One Direction-coma and was now pestering me to join her in this. I took matters into my own hands, snatching the computer out of her hands to put an end to this once and for all. That’s the last thing I remember. Next thing I knew, it was 3 AM, we both had empty bowls of ice cream in front of us, and we had gone through nearly every interview and performance of 1D on YouTube. I had just experienced my first One Direction blackout.
Ok, real talk: I’m a Directioner now – and I couldn’t be the least bit sorry about it. Along with fellow British boy band, The Wanted, One Direction has captured the hearts of thralls of teen girls (and 20 year-olds…) all over the world. Not since the days when Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, N*Sync, and Hanson reigned have we seen boy bands crash pop culture with such fervor. In the past few years, solo artists like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and of course, the Bieber, have had control of the pop charts. However, this summer I’m confident that One Direction has got this in the bag, considering their debut album, Up All Night, took the top spot on the Billboard 200, not something even the Beatles accomplished. In 2010, the boys entered the British singing competition, The X Factor, as soloists, but mentor Simon Cowell put them together to compete as a boy band. After placing third in The X Factor’s seventh season, the boys were signed to Simon’s record label, and the rest is history.
I know what you’re probably thinking. Sounds like another industry-manufactured boy band tailored for teen girls to obsess over. Well, that’s pretty much correct, but I can’t find anything not to like about these guys. Their music has little substance to it, but give me husky-voiced Harry Styles on the verse and a catchy hook, and I am sold. You all remember how it was with the boy bands of our youth: everyone had fun choosing their favorite and envisioning their wedding, future children, etc. with said boy band member. In One Direction we have Harry the flirty one, Zayn the mysterious one, Niall the cutie Irish one, Louis the hot clown (mine – everyone back off), and Liam the sensible one. While One Direction has talent, it has definitely been the group’s personalities that have helped push them towards superstardom.
Oh, and I mentioned they’re from the UK, right? So each one of them has a charming little accent designed to suck you right in and never let you free. I’m warning you right now: start watching videos of them and you will not stop. If this doesn’t deter you, I recommend hitting up their YouTube channel and buying their album, Up All Night. Listen to it, love it, sing it, and dream about your favorite boy. Just not Louis because I already ordered our wedding invitations.