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STREAM: One Direction “Drag Me Down”

11822438_931804903540971_1041567916136362026_nYesterday we learned that One Direction might actually be able to pull of a Beyonce move when they released the first single, “Drag Me Down,” off their fifth studio album, without warning. At around 10 pm last night, the internet exploded as Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Harry Styles all tweeted, in quick succession, about their single that just dropped moments before.

One Direction have tried through both Midnight Memories and FOUR to shed their bubble-gum pop boyband image, with little success. “Drag Me Down” feels like the start of a new era for these men. The sound is as close to alt-rock as they have ever gotten, though it’s still in the pop-rock realm. The track begins like many songs from the pop-punk era with a classical sounding intro which quickly dissolves into a driving bassline. With those first notes, this song is already not like anything they’ve done in the past.

The melody seems to take cues from Neon Trees and early Maroon 5. It has that underlying 80’s vibe while creating vibrant lyrical imagery and a chorus that could easily mash-up with “Shiver.” The melody isn’t the only thing that gives the song a more mature vibe. The song contains One Direction’s first beat drop, and  if this is a look at things to come, we’re in for a great November.

Many fans were skeptical that they would be able to carry on without Zayn Malik’s vocal acrobatics, however, Styles took that over just fine. He might not be able to go as high, yet, but he’s certainly well on his way. Tomlinson’s voice has also changed dramatically. He is able to hit every note with ease while keeping his unique timbre.

Last new thing, they aren’t just harmonizing they’ve added another vocal track, which if they’re smart, they’ll sing during shows while the audience belts out the lyrics.

“Drag Me Down” can easily be memorized by the second listen and with all these new components I can only hope they start moving back towards smaller venues. In stadiums you can hear everything, but you can’t feel it. This is a baseline that needs to be felt and embodied by their audience (SYCO, taking notes?)

You can purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.

Listen to the song below (though it’s existence almost broke the internet, so you probably already have) and let us know what you think! Is One Direction finally shedding their boyband image?

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Ariella Laichas-Malamud

Co-editor of this fine publication and loving every minute of it. Music is my life as seen by all of my usernames. When I'm not doing music, I'm watching netflix or talking about poetry. Native to sunny city by the beach, English major in one of the rainiest cities on earth.

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