Monday, July 29th, 2013

One Direction – Best Song Ever

Not quite “Take That,” is it?

Iain Mew: I’ve completely resisted the One Direction contagion to date since I haven’t appreciated the appeal of any of their songs. This one has got me. Partly it’s that for once it doesn’t sound half-finished — the power pop energy of the chorus and its concept extends across the verses as well. The interjection of “HOOW!” is no “ERNGH!”, but it does a job, and building the slapdash into the narrative works even better for the sudden dissolve and collapse of the memories of the song in question. That’s not all, though. Sometimes songs work for coincidental personal reasons, and in this case a detail about the girl included solely to make a joke throws me right back to being 13, at a school disco and dancing with a girl all night to the best song ever. That one didn’t go “oh oh oh yeah yeah yeah,” but serving up my own memories so effectively is a quick route to emotional connection.

Alfred Soto: A change of pace, industry watchdogs will call it. From the Pro Tooled precision of the rhythm guitars and “Baba O’Riley” piano to the vocal drops, this stands as a better example of modern chart pop than the two Songs of the Summer boasting the Neptunes’ drummer. The hubris is cuter than Harry Styles.

Katherine St Asaph: The very latest in Guitar Hero riffs, self-conscious meta, and a narrative that’s “On and On and On” levels of willful gleeful stupid. (“Her daddy was a dentist, she said I had a dirty mouth” is at least as good as “I said, ‘Who are you to talk about impending doom?'”) What could be missing? Oh, the hook.

Patrick St. Michel: This is far from the best song ever. It lacks the constant energy building up to a big release come the chorus that One Direction’s best songs have had. Rather it sort of just shuffles along to a hook where their voices sound a little bit like Adam Levine. But it’s hardly the worst song ever, either. It’s mostly pleasant, and the big bridge adds in just enough drama.

Edward Okulicz: Not quite the standard One Direction fare — this one uses its crunchy guitars to form much more of a hip-and-booty-shaker than even their most fun singles up to this point. It works well though, because “Best Song Ever” itself is a lot closer to my idea of the best song ever than the half-memory it describes.

Anthony Easton: The chorus on this is super tight, and the line “she said that her name was Georgia Rose/And her daddy was a dentist/She said I had a dirty mouth…” just makes me laugh. And this sounds like a gender-switched Taylor Swift, which is nice.

Scott Mildenhall: Thanks to this handy site it’s apparent that approximately 11 girls were given the name Georgia-Rose in England and Wales between 1996 and 2000, making them old enough to inhabit the teenage wasteland of “Best Song Ever,” if not to be the girl at its centre. With those numbers in mind, though, surely she wouldn’t be that hard to find online, unless she was lying about her name — something that’s obviously not the case; that would shatter the impression that One Direction only mix with Good Girls from Good Stock with dentist fathers. That teenage wasteland, though. Their seeming tactic of sacred cow-baiting (The Clash, The Undertones) might seem like fun and games now, but you only have to look at Busted to see how that kind of thing (guitars) can be a gateway drug to landfill indie. It is fun and games now (the highlight: “I think it gooooes”), but when the fifth series of The Big Reunion stars Joe Lean jing jang jonging alongside The Twang and The Pigeon Detectives, know who to blame.

Brad Shoup: At long last, a worthy tribute to Point Break’s “Freakytime.”

John Seroff: Between the song’s crit-bait title and barely serviceable charms, it’s tremendously tempting to beat this mediocre trifle a bit harder than it deserves. But as an over-calculated stab at 3OH!3 for the junior set, at least there’s nothing at play that deserves a scathing.

Ian Mathers: As someone who has primarily experienced One Direction second-hand, or even third-hand, it’s weird trying to explain why they’re so likable; I’m not even sure if I actually like them so much as I’m enthralled by the writing of the people I know who love them. All of which means I’m the guy who’s seen dozens of GIFs and analyses of those GIFs before ever hearing the song. The song itself is perfectly good, a worthy successor to the great lineage of songs about other great songs, but it’s not even that it’s Not For Me (One Direction is for everyone, you can get anything that you want), it’s just that it’s kind of surplus to requirements. Isn’t that one of the possible hallmarks of a really really great pop act?

Reader average: [5.75] (16 votes)

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4 Responses to “One Direction – Best Song Ever”

  1. Everytime I hear 1D song I feel like I’ve travelled back through time. Yes, it’s catchy and whatever, but at the same time it sounds so dated, trivial and just boring.

  2. Aw, i was proud of my perhaps too-obvious and edited-out “Ceci n’est pas la Best Song Ever” Magritte zing.
    That’s what the comments are for I guess.

  3. Can’t believe I missed the dentist/dirty mouth thing, I suppose that could render my ‘Good Stock’ ‘point’ a bit redundant.

    I agree with Ian too, the songs have often struck me as a mere trinket of the One Direction experience. For all their supposed might, this only sold half the copies it needed to reach the UK number one last week (and there’s not many weeks it would have succeeded). It can be pretty hard for boybands to achieve that these days (I can think of a few reasons why), but I wonder how essential downloading this is to your average 1D fan, compared to seeing the video (or film).

    (That’s going to sound really patronising, but I reckon there’s something in it.)

  4. I mean, I picked that screencap because I had no real choice.