I feel attached to One Direction songs at this moment in my life because they are simple. Formulaic and easy to listen to. From the time I was 14-18, when my life got messed up, all I wanted to listen to was indie/alternative/jazz music. I wanted complex rhythms and touchy concepts. I wanted to feel my sadness head on and sob every time I heard the first guitar chord in “Robbers” by The 1975. Now, I feel less strong. I am scared to jump into my thoughts out of the fear that I will be damaged by music. It still is my most perfect gift in life, but I can’t seem to listen to my indie playlist anymore. Does that make me pathetic? Or is it just not the right time in my life? I know it will always be there for me when I need it, and I am free to use it whenever.
The best I can do right now in terms of “indie” music is Harry Styles’ new album even though it’s fairly more pop. He is doing well by shifting into solo work and I feel very happy that he is still making music. Niall too. The others don’t seem to do it for me…
When One Direction sings about a particular girl in a particular setting (which is every song of theirs), I feel like I can relate to it on a superficial level and enjoy it rather than learn from it. One girl, who does something to them, in a new circumstance. How do they keep track of all their relationships? Haha.
While I know One Direction has died and gone to boy band heaven, I never was able to “fan-girl” over them due to my state of mind back in 2011. I only saw them as unapproachable pretty-boys who spewed out songs like a machine. And maybe, they are. But I’ve tried to go back and really understand the idea of a pop song and why the public clings onto it so tightly. I wanted to know why my high-school friends went to every concert and knew every song lyric. Was it an escape from their minds?
This song has a very accessible message to it: By the time the sun sets, I want you to be with me. It’s a clear way to express love for someone and yet, I find myself having to remember that love can be that simple. There doesn’t have to be complicated affection if the person can give you comfortability. Listening to this song, I have re-wired my thinking when I consider another person as a partner. Would I want to spend my last moments of every day with this person? Do I find refuge in their smile? As much as I can take from them, I would also want that person to find this kind of relief in me.
One line that sticks out for me is in the bridge of the song:
And when the city’s sleeping, you and I can stay awake and keep on dreaming.
I love to think about being so comfortable with someone that everyone else seems to disappear. This line gives me the giggles to think about walking around a sleeping city with a person who drives me to dream farther than I could ever imagine.
So, as much as I would feel embarrassed about choosing a One Direction song for serious exploration, I feel connected to the themes that they investigate throughout their five albums and I praise them for their dedication to the public.