On Nov. 17, British boy band One Direction released their fourth album in three years: FOUR. These international superstars continue to be successful in the music industry and in stealing our hearts.

Though most of their fan base consists primarily of teenage girls, for years, Harry, Niall, Zayn, Liam and Louis have made it nearly impossible for us pseudo-adults to not bop our heads to an insanely catchy tune or sing along with our best friends after a glass of wine — or three.

With clean records in the eyes of the media, their charismatic attitudes towards fans and booming international success created the perfect explanation of why these young men continue to deliver.

Time has provided expansion and experimentation in the types of styles One Direction places uniquely within each album, proving just how much they have grown in a more sophisticated manner over the past few years.

Like every opportunity, being successful in a boy band has its shelf life before the youthful talent fades away (i.e. Justin Bieber). Need I say more? But it seems to be that this group of five is only becoming something greater than they already were, with age and their name continues to stay as white hot as the day when “What Makes You Beautiful” was originally released.

FOUR brings in more of an electric strum of a guitar with an ’80s and ’90s-like vibe to each of the songs. The lyrics, instead of the usual ‘trying to get the girl,’ highlight more of the growing pains that come with the boy to man growing pain and the relationships that come with it.

One of FOUR’s top hits thus far, “18” deals with just that. This slower ballad, co-written by Ed Sheeran, pines after the teenage years that seem like they were just yesterday for these young men — because they were. 20-year-old Harry Styles sang, “I want to love like you made me feel when we were 18.” Ah yes, to be so young again!

Other chart toppers and songs that you may be hearing repeatedly on the radio for the next six months include hits, “Steal My Girl,” “Girl Almighty” and “Ready To Run” that are too catchy to skip. The pulsating, foot-stomping beat of many of their songs, keeps as One Direction’s signature, making their name stay on everyone’s mind in the pop world.

FOUR successfully eases that awkward transition from boy band to being taken seriously by a wider audience. This time around, tweaks were made in the lyrics in order to become not only more relevant but more realistic to their adult lives.

Although FOUR may not stand as tall as “Midnight Memories” or “Take Me Home,” past albums with multiple songs of which I favored more, I give it four stars for not being disappointed. This quintet shows diligence, allowing nobody to catch his or her breath before cranking out another booming record.

Follow Audrey Bittner on Twitter @PodgeTown


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