The way that you flip your hair: the best of One Direction

Although I don’t believe homo sapiens as species has improved, in this century we expect hotels to offer attractive bars serving cocktails with fresh ingredients and restaurants that can properly bake Brussels sprouts. We also expect boy bands to offer decent material. I don’t think my memory is playing tricks on me when I claim New Kids on the Block offered terrible songs: slovenly written and indifferently produced. Matters improved during the Backstreet Boys and NSync days, thanks to Max Martin and Kristian Lundin, among others.

By the time the English quintet One Direction released “What Makes You Beautiful,” the boys were thinking in terms of sharp middle eights and crazy harmonies. For a while I was on SPIN’s unofficial 1D beat even though it took me a while to get their voices and faces straight; I never would have figured Harry Styles to be the star but there you go (I also thought The Wanted had the career; I still prefer “Glad You Came” to “What Makes You Beautiful”). Brad Nelson’s rumination on how the loss of Zayn Malik crippled the band helped.

In the meantime, we have songs, good ones. At an academic year-end banquet in April, students manning the smartphone playlist slipped “No Control” into the mix; these college radio devotees went crazy.

1. No Control
2. What a Feeling
3. Steal My Girl
4. Fireproof
5. Change Your Ticket
6. Midnight Memories
7. Story of My Life
8. Diana
9. Best Song Ever
10. Stockholm Syndrome
11. Night Changes
12. Little White Lies
13. Girl Almighty
14. Half a Heart
15. What Makes You Beautiful

For the Spotify playlist, check out the Dowsers.

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