Huffington Post called ‘N Sync’s “No Strings Attached” the best album of the 2000-2009 decade. Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone.
All of us 20-somethings had that phase. You know the one. No matter your favorite—whether they were older: New Kids on the Block, The Jackson 5, Menudo; or huge: ‘N Sync, Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men; or slightly less popular: Hanson, 98 Degrees, LFO, O-Town—you probably went through that boy band phase. But you grew out of it right? Maybe it was a gradual shift in music taste, or the day you took down all those posters and magazine rip-outs from you walls, or even a conscious decision to “grow up.” Somewhere along the way you discovered Good Charlotte, Brand New, Bright Eyes, or whatever gateway band to a life after knowing Justin Timberlake’s favorite number. This new life has sophisticated music with more mature themes than “baby, I want you back” and a wider vocabulary to boot.
In recent years, the boy band has made a comeback with the Jonas Brothers leading the charge into the late 2000’s. Then Big Time Rush and The Wanted released albums on either sides of the pond in early 2010. And then there was One Direction. Those UK boys from the X Factor sort of snuck up on all of us. For me, it started with them popping up on my Tumblr dashboard, then in news articles, and then I watched them perform on Saturday Night Live. It was okay to love them ironically, blaming “the suspenders one” and “the blonde one” for being so adorable. But the day came when I realized I knew all their names and I was singing about my life to the tune of their songs. That was when I knew: I was a goner; I had fallen back into my boy band ways.
One Direction’s ‘Take Me Home: Yearbook Edition’ was released on Spotify on Nov. 13. Photo courtesy of Syco Records.
Thankfully, I’m not the only 20-something in my circle of friends to have gone through the same thing. Brennin posted on Tumblr about her slow decent back into boy band fandom, Emily contemplated whether she should hate herself for it or not, and Monica dragged her feet a bit. We all thought the “boy band phase” was over; we were all convinced that we had grown out of it and moved onto better music. But that doesn’t stop me from dancing like an idiot and scream-singing “Live While Your Young” or my heart from melting when I listen to “Little Things” (I have a soft spot for acoustic songs!) So while I spiral down into another boy band black hole, this is my review of One Direction’s sophomore album, Take Me Home: Yearbook Edition, that was released last week. You can also check out my live blog of the album to see what I thought about each song individually.