One Direction

Four

(Syco)

“Let’s pray we stay young,” One Direction sing. But alas, time waits for no boyband, not even the all-conquering 1D.

Thus Four tempers the bubblegum pop of before in favour of what Harry, Liam et al call a slightly more “edgy” style.

Sting-aping vocals and daft hostage imagery in “Stockholm Syndrome” certainly succeed in setting one’s teeth on edge but elsewhere the results have a certain bright charm.

“Steal My Girl” has the boys coming on all Bruce Springsteen with big 1980s synths and stadium drums while “18”, co-written by Ed Sheeran, is yearning acoustic rock, the sound of puppy love moving into whatever the next stage of canine amorous attachment is.

Then there’s “No Control” in which 1D discover basslines and sexual frustration: “Waking up beside you I’m a loaded gun”…

Get alerts on Music when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.

Follow the topics in this article