In defense of a 20-something’s 1D obsession

Recently my friends drove 13 hours overnight to see One Direction play in Baltimore while I was stuck at work.  While this might sound like a road trip teenagers would make, my friends and I are all hovering around 25 and not at all ashamed of our love of 1D.  While they were at the show I spent the evening eating pizza, drinking wine, and watching This Is Us, because I know how to adult properly.  I know it’s a boy band, and I’m not their target demographic, but the truth is, One Direction is a really awesome band.  They aren’t “just a boy band” and are worthy of a little more respect than they are currently given.  And considering they dropped a new track this week, it’s a perfect time to offer some valid reasons why you’re never too old to love 1D.

They have all the good parts of a boy band without any of the bad.

1D is everything we want in a boy band.  Charming guys, great style, fun videos, and some of the catchiest songs of the past decade.  They also made the really good decision not to take part in some of the less cool things previous boy bands did.  I’m a child of the ’90s too, so this isn’t a slight to any other groups, but you definitely earn a lot more credibility as a band when you aren’t dancing in sync (no pun intended).  The lack of matching outfits also helps.

They constantly pay homage to classic rock songs, and it’s awesome.

If you’ve ever listened to a new 1D song and thought “that sounds really familiar,” you’re totally right.  A ton of their songs sample 70’s and 80’s songs in the best possible way.  When “Steal My Girl” was released, a lot of people pointed out that it sounded like a lot of songs, but mostly Journey’s “Faithfully.”  That’s not the only song that does that though.  “Midnight Memories” sounds just like Def Leperd’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me”; “Best Song Ever” sounds just like The Who’s “Teenage Wasteland”; “Live While We’re Young” uses the classic Clash riff from “Should I Stay or Should I Go”; and my personal favorite, “Does He Know,” is EXACTLY like Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.”  

The songs aren’t all bubblegum pop songs.

Most boy band songs can exist only within boy bands.  They’re formulaic and catchy, but they aren’t really all that great, and they could never exist in any genre other than pop. 1D songs aren’t like that, though.  Four has a lot of singer-songwriter/folk songs like “Girl Almighty”, and “Act My Age,”  while most of Midnight Memories is a flat out pop-punk album.  I can’t wait to hear the fifth album and what the guys do on their own (even though I’m not ready to talk about that.)

They are funny and charming, even though no one expects them to be.

To be honest, One Direction could be a lot less interesting as people, and we would still love them.  They’re great to watch live and the songs are permanent brain worms.  The guys could be really boring off stage, but it turns out they are incredibly funny.  If you’ve never watched any Niall/Harry videos I highly suggest it.  It turns out they’re just plain good people.  Harry has been super vocal against animal cruelty and a huge supporter of Emma Watson’s HeForShe campaign.  Are these guys even real?

They’re unique people with individual personalities.

Unlike boy bands of the past, they just live their lives and hope everyone’s cool with it. The guys aren’t limited to stereotypes like “the main one”, “the bad boy”, “the mysterious one” or anything else.  Their fans truly get to know the guys for who they are.  Again, the lack of shiny matching suits is key here.

(Image via and Capitol Records)


Check out 1D’s newest track

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