Sunday, October 7, 2012

No One Direction Infection Here


Sorry about the lack of a new blog post on Friday. I had the SAT the next day, so I had to go to bed super early and get ready and I didn’t have time to do a post. But, two days later, here it is!
Originally, I was going to just talk about the songs I’ve been listening to, but that’s really boring after a while. Instead, I’ve decided to explain exactly what I detest about One Direction. If you saw my Twitter this week, you may have seen where I tweeted about my sister's newfound One Direction obsession.  Yeah, my sister, despite all my glorious attempts to sway her, has conformed. She held out for a long time, but she finally caught The One Direction Infection. (Am I the only one who thinks that sounds like a really disgusting way to say you’re a fan? Maybe you should go see a doctor for that infection)

Multiple times, I’ve asked her to explain why she likes them, but all she keeps saying the same thing, “They’re really cute, attractive, funny, and great singers! And their songs are really catchy. And they’re really hot!” As a good sister, it’s hard for me to keep criticizing her music choices, but I really do hate One Direction.

Even the boy bands in the nineties, as highly regarded as they may be, really weren’t/aren't that great.. But, some people are like, “Oh, they were so much cooler back then.” That’s not necessarily true. Besides the horrible music, remember those badly choreographed, awkward dance moves? If y’all want to dance so badly, became a boy dance team. They boys, who were really closer to men, did at least have very mature voices.  I’ll give One Direction—and The Wanted—credit, at least they don’t dance. They do walk around quite a lot and touch girls’ hands because those boys aren’t dumb; they know they have to target the easily excited pubescent girls. Touching someone’s hand, I guess, does it for them. Now, I’ll admit, when I went to the Mutemath concert and Paul—the lead singer—came out in the crowd, yeah, I got excited. I took pictures and told anyone who listened—so that’s my sister, my parents, and my blog readers—that I was this close to Paul. However, I was there for the music, not because Paul has a pretty face or anything like that.

Specifically, I hate One Direction because they target these tween-age girls. The only reasons One Direction’s music sells is because the girls who are listening to this music because A) the boys are sooooooo cute, B) they think these guys have talent, and C) they’re easily wooed.
Sure, the boys, Zayn, Louis, Harry, Niall, and Liam—I only know their names because of my sister—are relatively attractive, but so what? Does one’s facial structure determine their singing ability? I think not. If we, as a complete society, based our musical tastes off that one criteria, would Ozzy Osbourne be considered a legend, what about Meatloaf, most of the bad-hair bands on the 1980’s, and Muse, Silversun Pickups, The Killers, and Fall Out Boy, would they be popular? Now, I’m not calling these bands/artists “ugly” or putting them down. Most of them, however, do not fall until the typical, cookie-cutter criteria of cute that One Direction does. Yeah, I’ll admit a cute lead singer doesn’t hurt anything. As interesting as the concert was, it was cool to see the very sexy Brendon Urie (Panic! At the Disco’s lead singer). However, I do not solely listen to PATD because of Brendon, but it certainly didn’t hurt at the concert. JMost true music lovers do not listen only to bands that boast “cute” or attractive members. But, that’s One Direction’s niche. They’re five decent looking young men who look good in tight trousers, suits, and colorful skinny jeans. Someone could honestly toss those five boys up on stage, turn off their microphones, play the sound of a garbage disposal every time they open their mouths, and girls would still walk away going, “OMG! Harry’s so cute!” Really, the sound of a garbage disposal is a step-up from what they sound like now. Yikes. Also, the guys take a lot of random videos of them making faces, dancing, and saying silly things. Those videos then get uploaded and crazy fans who don’t have enough to do make huge 8 minute videos of this guys, like this one. Yes, I am now in love with these boys because they’re funny. Right…And their funny moments really don’t compare to these guys’.

Next, these poor girls are sadly mistaken when they claim that One D—I’m abbreviating—has talent. For real? Have you ladies heard their auditions? I sound better than they do and I sound like Ke$ha mixed with a dying rabbit, not that I know very many dying rabbits, but the point still stands. Harry, who every time I say his name, I want to add “You’re a wizard, Harry,” sang “Isn’t she lovely” by Stevie Wonder. No, it’s not the worst I’ve ever heard, but it was very pitchy and kind of weak; I agreed with Louis, instead of Simon and that’s very rare. Niall was very likeable, trying to sing "So Sick" by Ne-Yo, but like Harry, he needed more practice and quite a few voice lessons, to be honest. Zayn was terrible, oooh, just terrible. He tried too hard, drawing out notes that should not have been drawn out and it was painful to listen to. Louis butchered “Hey there Delilah.” Dude, that was my favorite ballad before you stomped all over it. It was just all over the place and…yucky. Liam, on the other hand, I actually liked. Before you turn away and declare me a Directioner, listen to his audition. The guy has a very Michael Buble like quality. I say, Liam, leave those other losers and go be a little jazz singer. I’d buy your stuff. Not because of who you are, but because of the talent hiding in those skinny jeans. In the end, that’s pretty sad, isn’t it? Four guys and only one sounds better than a dying rabbit. Wow.

Finally, their main audience, little girls, are easily influenced. They are only buying One D’s stuff because they have yet to actually formulate their own musical opinions and are just beginning to understand what they like. At 12, the target age of 1D, I was into Ke$ha (synonymous now with a dying rabbit), Akon, Beyonce, Katy Perry, and a million other talentless people that considered themselves “artists.” How is it art if my ears bleed when your songs come on? Just curious. That raises another question of mine, why does One Direction call themselves a band? Do you see them playing any instruments, save for a random guitar here and there? Nope, but they have a backing band that doesn’t get any credit; they’re the ones that are actually doing the heavy-lifting, whereas the boys simply have to prance around and sing. So, I don’t consider them, The Wanted, or any other boy-band, rubbish project of a record company a band. They’re singers, I think, not a band, and most definitely not artists. They are, most definitely, a sorry excuse for music that the tweens eat up. Back to my original point, girls—and kids in general—at that age are trying to discover what kinds of music they like. They’re more likely to fall for guys that smile and sing songs about how beautiful they are, as opposed to bands that did not choose its members based on how chiseled their jaw lines are and sing about heavier, soul-searching lyrics. As well, once a girl’s friends begin to enjoy One Direction’s music, they begin to follow suit, spreading a “One Direction Infection” throughout the school. That’s exactly why these boys have such a rabid, ever-increasing fan base.  Thank God I’m immune this infection, like I was to Bieber Fever. Keep your ailments, girls. I’ll take my Panic! Attacks, thank you very much. J

Another thing that bothers me about these guys is their lyrics. No, I’m not going to rip them apart for writing songs about puppy love; artists—real artists, mind you—have been doing that for years. (I’m reminded of that awful “Puppy Love” by Donny Osmond…scary) What irks me is the lack of depth, the fact that they never address the girl they’re in love with, and the music behind their lyrics.

Take their song “One Thing.” It opens with “I’ve tried playing it cool/ girl when I’m looking at you/ I can’t ever be brave/ because you make my heart race.” Okay, nothing awful there, aside from the fact that his masculinity is still in development, as evidenced by the fact that he can’t look at a girl’s eyes, nose, and mouth without his heart racing.

They go on, blabbering about how much they love this girl and how special she is. Then, Zayn (Or as I called him for months until I learned his name, Zoombafoo) says she has that “one thing.” What is that “one thing” you ask? Well, that’s a good question, because the boys, actually, the people who wrote the song in the first place, have no idea. I like how specific they are about why she’s so special…NOT. I have no idea why they’ve all fallen for her. “I Want” is about a super materialistic girl who wants them to love her. Okay, that songwriting rivals the Jonas Brothers for suckiest shizz posing as beautiful lyrics. As well, boys, putting an electric guitar line that none of you even play does not make the song rock and roll. It definitely comes across as a little pretentious, perhaps, but it’s your manager and everyone else that’s hiding behind the curtain (“pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”) who makes that stuff happen.

Next, they never name the girl they’ve fallen for (am I the only one who is creeped out by the fact that all five guys sing to one girl?), always calling her “you.” Why, you ask, do they do that? Because, when they sing it in concert, they point at different girls and the girls go “OMG! He told me I have that ‘One Thing!’” No, you don’t, but it sells more tee-shirts, tickets, CDs, and merch. More sales = more $$$$$ for them.

Finally, the music that the lyrics try to compensate for are just awful. They don’t want you to notice that the instrumental side of the group is pitiful; they want you to fall for One D’s faces and the fact that the boys are in love with “you.” So, they spend as little time as possible on the actual music and the end result: the music sounds like crap. It all sounds the same, a guitar, a piano, light drums, and a repetitive melody that never really goes anywhere. It’s just your typical boy band music. And that’s why I continue to listen to Mutemath, Muse, Panic! At the Disco, The Black Keys, Just Jack, Two Door Cinema Club, Arctic Monkeys, Patrick Stump, Electric Guest, The Kooks, Keane, Incubus, and Young the Giant. At least those bands have the decency to put effort into their music.

Before I call this rant quits, remember that I’m not personally attacking One Direction and I’m not a hater. (Though, remember that haters are your motivators) I don’t like their music, why they’re popular, and what they represent in the music industry (puppets controlled by a record company and managers). However, I’m sure they’re very nice guys and I didn’t set out to put them down and make a mockery of them. I just think that considering the amount of success that they’ve had, they should at least have a little talent. So, just a critic, not a hater. Got it? Good. J

If you want to laugh even more at One Direction's strange following and their lack of musical talent, check out Barely Political's parodies here and here. And while you're there, check out their 24 parodies here and here. I couldn't resist a chance to slip in a 24 reference. :)

Anyways, until next week,


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