The Critics Corner | Albums

Up All Night One Direction Are Breaking Charts and Breaking Hearts As They Invade America with debut album
Name: Up All Night
Record Label: Columbia Records
U.S. Release Date- March 13, 2012
Rating 4.9 out of 5

Review written by: Hailey Sager
In my opinion, Simon Cowell is a genius at many things, especially when it comes to the boy bands he helps to create. Already under his belt were the British boy band sensations, Five and Westlife, among others. When he chose to save solo artists Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Harry Styles from leaving The X Factor by forming them into a boy band, they finished third in the competition. After the competition was over, One Direction signed to Sony Records under Simon Cowell’s label, Syco Records in the United Kingdom, and Columbia Records here in the US.

Up All Night’s US release helped One Direction break the record that the Spice Girls set in 1997 for the highest debut of a British act. One Direction had their US album debut at Number 1 while in 1997 Spice Girls’ album ‘Spice’ debuted at Number 6 on the Billboard charts, (

So far, One Direction’s first three singles have been the first three songs off of Up All Night in order. This was a great way to give fans a preview of what was to come from the band when the fans bought the album. “What Makes You Beautiful” sets the mood right off the bat that the rest of the album will be filled with inspirational music for their fans to continuously dance and sing along to no matter where they are. Generally, anytime a song is overplayed on the radio, it becomes a nuisance. But when I hear “What Makes You Beautiful” on the radio, I want to have a dance party on the roof of my car in the middle of the highway.

When “Gotta Be You” was released as the second single off of Up All Night, it showed that this album was going to have an eclectic range of melodies throughout the album. Liam's strong solo vocals leading into Harry's solo is a key element on a few of the songs on Up All Night and “Gotta Be You” is no exception. This element was a great fit into “Gotta Be You” at the beginning of the album proving that the band is filled with real raw vocal talent.

Another inspirational, pop-ballad on Up All Night comes in at track number three. Who ever the muse behind “One Thing” is, they are an extremely lucky person. “One Thing” is most likely my second favorite song on this album. It's another song that I just want to jump around and dance to no matter where I am.

“More Than This” reminds me of my favorite Backstreet Boys song, “More Than That”. So far, the album is back and forth between upbeat poppy flowy songs and powerful ballads. “More Than This” is another powerful ballad on Up All Night.  Niall’s solo in the middle of the song adds more flair and sparks a pick-up in the song. One Direction recently shot the music video to “More Than This,” their fourth single, in the City of Love, Paris!

Song five on Up All Night was the theme song during my trip to Nashville for the Better With U Tour with Special Guests, One Direction. The trip was accompanied by two all nighters, where my friends and I danced around in our hotel room to Up All Night's title track to keep ourselves literally, up all night.

Every album has to have the song about the 'what-if' situation about 'wishing to be the person they would be with, if it was you in the situation you would treat them perfectly.' “I Wish” is Up All Night's song about that scenario. Even though this is a redundant scenario in most albums, One Direction make the song all their own with Zayn taking lead vocals to spice up the sound of this pop-enthused would-be sad song, if it wasn't so upbeat and fun!

My favorite song on Up All Night was written by Kelly Clarkson. “Tell Me A Lie” not making Kelly's cut on her new album, Stronger had to be a little more than fate when instead it was placed in the middle of One Direction's album. I could easily see Kelly Clarkson performing this song to her thousands of concert attendees, jumping around shouting, "tell me I'm a screwed up mess, that you need your distance, distance." But watching One Direction perform this song in Nashville was just as perfect coming from them.

Taking things down to a more depressing notch on the album, is a slow, “Taken.” “Now that you can’t have me you suddenly want me,” while there are other songs on the album that are about unrequited love, Taken, seems to be a lot more meaningful in the story of the lyrics.

The dance party begins again with the next two songs, “I Want” and “Everything About You”. Like “One Thing,” whomever these two songs are about, the fans can all agree, are very lucky people to have won over the hearts of these young men. One Direction opened up their set list with “I Want” on the Better With U tour along with their roaring audience singing along to every word.

“Or else we’ll play, play, play, all the same old games, and we wait, wait, wait for the end to change...but we’re making all the same mistakes.” “Same Mistakes” is also in my top favorites on Up All Night. “Same Mistakes” flows nicely into track twelve, “Save You Tonight”. Instead of making the same mistakes, they will be your Superman.

Up All Night
ends its run with a fun synthesized track called “Stole My Heart.” I picture this music video with the band members roaming the crowd at a club or bar while they are spending the night searching for their love interest with whom they only locked eyes with for a split second.

The only negative thing I have to say about this album is that it is unfortunate that “Moments” only made the deluxe album and not this original Up All Night release. Ed Sheeran wrote “Moments” and the song is a perfect fit for One Direction. They performed this heartfelt song live on the Better With U tour. There is a surprising pick up within the last 30 seconds of the song. The song tells the story of a man committing suicide after his girlfriend does because he can’t live without her. “Moments” would have made for a great spot after “Save You Tonight.” I am glad they made an effort to include the beautiful song in the deluxe album.

One Direction are heading out on their first ever US headlining tour in Summer 2012 with special guest Olly Murs, who was also on X-Factor a year prior to One Direction. One Direction has a huge year ahead of them and Up All Night is only the beginning for their careers.
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