One Direction, "Take Me Home" (Syco/Columbia Records)
One Direction's sophomore album, "Take Me Home," comes one year after the group released its debut, "Up All Night," in the United Kingdom. The latter came out in America just eight months ago, has already sold 1.3 million units and is still in the Top 25.
The wholesome-looking quintet has joined Justin Bieber in the affections of girls everywhere, with their puppy eyes, trendy haircuts and rather good voices. And the boy band's new album delivers on the brief, vaguely catchy songs that appeal to both the romantic and the wild side of teenage girls.
The record relies heavily on perky and melancholic guitars, and on romantic invitations like "I want to be your last first kiss" on "Last First Kiss," which then veer into the leery "Tonight let's get some" on the very honest and upbeat first single, "Live While We're Young." It's full of riffs that haven't been heard since the 1990s boy bands took their final bows.
"Take Me Home" is mainly produced by the same folks behind the group's debut, including Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk and Savan Kotecha. English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran returns, too, co-writing two ballads ("Little Things," "Over Again") that break up the overall upbeat preppiness of the disc with memorable choruses.
The album feels relentless in rhythm, sometimes even during the ballads, with a homogenous sound and message -- like a teenage boy who says all the right words in a rush to get what he wants. But this time they're only singing the right words to get to your wallets and adoration. And they're most likely going to get it.
Check this out: "Over Again" will be played over and over again by the lovelorn.