Top 5ive: One Direction

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It’s time to reminisce about what is arguably the biggest boy band of the 2010s. It’s time to countdown the top 5ive songs from One Direction.

Formed on the 2010 season of the British version of “The X Factor,” the foursome that was a fivesome literally shook the music scene during their first six years before they took a well deserve hiatus. So let’s get started!

5. “Best Song Ever”

This song signaled a change in style for 1D. They slowly to transition to a more mature sound. They moved away from “Bubblegum pop” like their first two albums and their new sound was mature and kind of retro using different band influences to create a new song that really wasn’t on the radio. “Best Song Ever” was probably the last truly “bubblegum pop” song that the did and was the best way to get their fans and the mainstream radio into their sound. Oh, this was the song also started the “One Direction ripped of insert classic song.”

4. “Little Things”

Written by Ed Sheeran, “Little Things” was the first ballad to showcase what they could do as a ground on slow numbers. It’s a love song about loving every little thing about a person. Every guy has a part and it’s truly the best. It’s a simple song that will make anyone’s heart melt. It was a perfectly crafted pop ballad. Luckily, it wouldn’t be the last.

3. “Drag Me Down”

Their first song without Zayn in the group and they pretty much proved that they really didn’t need him. Zayn leaving actually proved to let Niall and Louis voice be more prominent. It also showed that it wasn’t going to change anything about them. “Drag Me Down” was the perfect way to show they were standing strong together and keep what made them a hit that they were. The best part of the song? Niall’s vocals on the chorus.

2. “What Makes You Beautiful”

“What Makes You Beautiful” is such a catchy song. The beat is infectious like a bad case of herpes. Everyone heard it and knew the words to it. It was the song that you couldn’t get out of your head even if you tried. They also started the stereotypical boy bands performing at the beach while looking adorable and attainable. It was the start of panties flying at them. They were young British males that were attractive and could sing. They would be swimming in panties.

1. “Story of My Life”

Probably the most iconic ballad by 1D, “Story of My Life” is the best song that group has released next to “What Makes You Beautiful.” The only reason this song is higher is based on the fact that it was a song that everyone liked. It was a well crafted pop song that you couldn’t help but like, even if you didn’t listen to pop music. “Story of My Life” was a masterpiece.

 

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The Battle of One Direction’s solo singles

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It’s time to go into the arena as it’s time for another edition of “Pop Project Versus.” We are going to battle as it’s the Battle of One Direction. That is right, We have the first single from all five original members and now it’s time to see who’s first single will reign supreme in the kingdom of Directioners. Yes, Zayn is in this because he was still in the band.

So here’s how this is going to work. Unlike previous battles, we will doing this in a countdown listing. The singles will be ranked by chart performance in the UK. If there is a tie, then we will go into the US Billboard Hot 100. So let’s rank the One Direction solo singles.

5. “This Town” by Niall Horan

The lowest in the chart of any of the solo singles, Niall’s first song “This Town.” came in on the UK Single Charts at number 9. He’s also the only member not be in the top five, which is sad because it’s a very beautiful song. It could be because it’s not pop like the music in One Direction. It’s more folk pop, which honestly just suits him better than anyone expected.

4. “Strip That Down” by Liam Payne

While Liam’s song is the newest of the solo singles, “Strip That Down” made it to the third spot on the UK Single Charts. Apparently Liam’s promise of full frontal nudity if it goes to number one didn’t help with promotion. It’s the weakest of the single but at the same time, it’s the most catchy besides the single at number one. It also pissed off the directioners, which is why it wasn’t number one. It will be interesting to see what Liam’s album will be like. Click here for my full review of “Strip That Down.”

3. “Just Hold On” by Louis Tomlinson

While I didn’t do a review of “Just Hold On,” I think it’s safe to say that Louis’ single with his friend Steve Aoki totally came out of left field. It was a style that I didn’t think he would take. I figured that Louis would have taken a pop rock route and not the EDM/Dance pop. It’s amazing song either way. So amazing that it made it to number two on the UK Single Charts. It’s an uplifting dance song and who doesn’t love that?

2. “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles

Now the next to singles were a tie on the UK Single Chart. Harry single was something that we’ve been wanting for months and months. It was something that we knew was coming but wasn’t sure when. “Sign of the Times” was everything we expected out of a Harry Style’s single. It made it to number one on the UK Single Chart and number four on the US Billboard Hot 100. It’s classic soft rock/pop song but it’s not as good as the song at  number one. Click here for all of my reviews of Harry Styles’ solo work.

1. “Pillowtalk” by Zayn

The first member to leave the group and make release a solo single “Pillowtalk” leads the way and is the pinnacle of their solo singles. Zayn’s first single was/is everything. It was something that wasn’t expected of him. It said fuck and was about sex, something that One Direction never covered. The chorus got stuck in your head for days. It was so good that it was number one on both the UK Single Chart and US Billboard Hot 100. Zayn is still proving being the best solo act that came out of One Direction. Click here for all of my reviews of Zayn’s solo work.

 

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Single Review: Harry Styles channels Bowie in ‘Sign of the Times’

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Harry Styles has finally released his debut single “Sign of the Times.” It’s the song that we’ve all been wanting to hear. Rumors have been flowing since the split of One Direction and everyone has been wanting to hear what the “Justin Timberlake” of 1D  could produce and boy, he really produced a single.

“Sign of the Times” isn’t like anything Harry has done before. While 1D during their last couple albums played with the pop rock, but his first single is a little bit more rock. It’s being compared to sounding like the late great David Bowie and they aren’t wrong. Musically, the song is pretty epic. It starts off with a piano and then get’s more epic as you go on. It also has this very “old school” feel to it that I really like. It will also make the song appeal to more than just his existing fan base.

Vocally, Harry’s vocals are the best I’ve ever heard from him. He’s not overpowering them but he’s not holding back. The way he’s singing just flows so well with the instrumental behind him. It’s just something we really don’t hear these days from mainstream radio artist. It’s rather refreshing. His voice just sounds so epic as well. The song is just so damn epic.

The lyrics make it sound like the song would be played at a funeral. Yes, a funeral. It’s kind of song that one would play when you need to move on and you decided to be overdramatic and throw a funeral. But the song is a rather sad. It just adds to the epicness because they take you through the emotions and tells a story. The lyrics are beautiful and are written so well.

The only complaint that I have with it, and it’s a minor complaint, is that it feels too much like a One Direction song that didn’t make the cut. While it’s a different style, it still sounds like something that would One Direction had on one of their last albums. Starting from “Midnight Memoirs,” One Direction started to play with a Pop Rock song. They always had a little bit of a rock-ish edge but it wasn’t like “Best Night Ever,” “Steal My Girl,” and even “Drag Me Down.” Ultimately, it won’t totally hurt him but he’s going to get compared to the most successful solo artist out of 1D – ZAYN. I won’t be doing that because I have a column for that were I compare.

Overall, The song is pretty much an epic way to start a solo career. The music, the vocals, and the lyrics are just amazing. You forget that you are listening to a song for six minutes. Yeah, the song is that long. Doesn’t feel like it right? I just wish it wasn’t a little bit less like One Direction’s sound.

Here’s the single for your ears to enjoy:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Make sure you follow me on Twitter for more. 

Intro to British Pop Music 101

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Welcome to class

I hope you are sitting down because you are about to get schooled. Welcome to Introduction to British Pop Music. During this course, I will teach you about lesser-known British pop groups that you probably have heard of but don’t know that much about. Some will be well-known. Either way, it will be a good time. It’s also be known, that some of them aren’t “fully” British but from the UK. Either way, they are important to British Pop.   Also, this isn’t a full bio on these bands or all the bands here. Let’s begin, and make sure to take notes. There will be the comprehensive final over all of this. (There’s a cheat sheet in the Power Pop Playlist).

Duran Duran

Considered one of the top British bands of the 80s, Duran Duran gave the world extremely catchy pop music. I guess you could say that they were one of the leader in the British Pop movement that would take over the 1990s. Without them, we might not have the rest of the artist in this course.

Spice Girls

Everyone knows about the power that the Spice Girls had in the late 90s. They were the British band to be. They influenced so many girl groups with their form of girl power. To put it into perspective for newer fans, they were the One Direction of their time. They even had a campy crappy movie “Spice World.” It’s a classic that everyone should see. It’s a treasure….one that makes you lose brain cells.

Westlife

Considered to one of the top boy bands in the UK, Westlife was a juggernaut. They came when the Spice Girls were starting to fizz and there wasn’t any Ginger in their life. Almost all of their single were in the top five of the charts in the UK. There only hit in the US was “Swear it Again.”

Five

This is probably one of the lesser knowns of the bands on here but you do know them. Five’s song “Slam Dunk (Da Funk)” was featured in the greatest Disney Channel Original Movie ever “Smart House.” This actually helped them because their first two albums charted here in the states. They didn’t do very well, but they charted. So “yay for them” I suppose.

S Club 7

Probably the second most popular British band from the 90s. S Club 7 was a powerhouse and came very close to being in the same league as the Spice Girls. They had a hit television show that played all the time. It also happened to be 30-minute music videos for their albums.

Steps

The second biggest band to come out in the 90s. Steps were a machine of hits that followed a formula that works still to this day. They only have one single and one album chart in the States, but they were everywhere in the UK. You know you made in the States when you are on a Radio Disney compilation album and have a small concert on Disney Channel.

BBMak

“Back Here” was the biggest hit that BBMak had in both the US and the UK. It placed higher on the US charts than on the UK charts. Actually, they were more of a hit here than in the UK.  Both albums charted her and four of their singles placed in the top 50. They probably would have been a bigger hit if they didn’t break up after two albums. Oh, They also were on Disney’s “Even Stevens.”

Sugababes

Okay, so more than likely you never heard of them but you have at least heard of their song. Sugababes was the original singer of Miranda Cosgrove’s hit single “About You Now.” I know what you are thinking, mind blown. This was one of their biggest hits in the UK. It was only one of the few songs that reached number one. They had plenty of songs that made in the top 100.

Atomic Kitten

The rebirth of catchy girl pop took form with Atomic Kitten. All three of their albums were in the top five of the charts. Most of their singles were in the top 20. Now, you’re probably wondering where you have heard them. Their cover is “The Tide is High” was heavily played throughout the early to mid-2000s. It was featured in “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.” So it seems like Disney is the breeding group for British pop.

The Wanted

While they weren’t as well-known as One Direction, The Wanted were a big hit. All three of the albums were top 10 hits in the UK. Their song “Glad You Came” was what made them a hit over here in the States. Their music was more of a hit than in their home country than in the US.

One Direction

Probably the best known out of the new wave of British Pop in the 2010s, One Direction is what every act wants. They were the top act across the world with their records killing the charts. Tours sold out venues everywhere. They were just top dogs. They spawned so many items with their faces on it, it’s really unreal. They literally created an empire. It’s rather funny when you think they all started on the UK’s version of “The X Factor” as solo artists.

Little Mix

The newest British pop sensation to arrive on the scene, Little Mix stole America’s heart with “Black Magic.” All four of their albums have charted in the top 50 in the States and they are well on their way to become the next breakout hit. Also, you don’t want to tick them off. They look like they could beat you up.

 

Leave your thoughts on this class in the comments below. Also, make sure you follow me on Twitter for sass and spilling of the tea.