12 February 2014

The "Best Song Ever"...?


I know 99.9% of my viewers will look at this post, shun me from public society, and ensure my blog will crash and burn for even mentioning One Direction. If I have to clarify, the only music group I am a diehard fangirl of is HIM. A Finnish rock band with a steady lineup for over twelve years captured the little girl in me and provided lyrical food for thought can never and will never lose to a British boy band with goofy kids and creepy subliminal messages in their lyrics.

Yeah, if all girls should fall in love with a band in the same way all boys should worship superheroes, robots, and or sic-fi action, then I probably had one of the "safer" options. Still, I was greatly uninterested in boy bands in my childhood. I only heard the of Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way", and the only fact I knew about NSYNC was that Justin Timberlake managed to earn a lucrative career in the after years. This highly contagious, massive 90's genre never meant anything to the immune moi, so One Direction failed to appeal to me in that way.

They never caught my heart since it always belonged to another, but I don't find this group particularly threatening. I can't remember any of these guys' names or whose voice belongs to whom. They're overhyped because no direct or fair competition exists. Justin Beiber comes close, but I'm too busy laughing at that pip-squeak's descent into humiliating obscurity. (By the way, I'm allowed to badmouth him all I want. That toddler, who makes me feel like a 90 year old, is three months younger than me.) Otherwise, no other boy bands have enough presence to start a war.

And I'm at the point when music like this just doesn't mean anything to me anymore. I'm long done with my impressionable years of social insecurity. I'm barely trying to "fit in" just to please the system all the time. Or even in my early twenties I still run into a ton of neurotic men who have no motivation or courage to talk to me like I'm a human being. One Direction's creepy "you're hot enough to be mine and too spineless to ever leave me" undertones in some of their songs ("What Makes You Beautiful" and "Little Things", especially) fail to entice me. I'm not a wide-eyed preteen anymore. I don't have any use for simple love songs with as much depth and description as self-incert fanfiction. At least Ville Valo and the gang reference other and often more interesting bands to help me appreciate rock music and HIM's inspirations. It's just not fair to compare apple pie to a cardboard cutout of an orange.

I know most of them have stupid names...
"Zayne"? "Harry Styles"? REALLY?!

That. Being. Said. One Direction is not completely awful. They just don't have anything going for them that appeals to my oddly inconsistent tastes that sometimes clashes with my sex and age demographics. Well, until this earworm came out: "Best Song Ever".

Opening chords ripping off of "Baba O'Riley" by The Who? That's fine; nothing's original under the sun anymore. But if One Direction were to steal anything from bigger, better groups with far more style, class, and talent, then keep stealing riff from rock music. Anything to ease my depression over the increasingly shrinking presence of that awesome genre. Other than maybe Gotye's odd hit "Somebody I Used to Know" two years ago, the indie scene bores me to tears. And someone please tell me why the frustratingly smug Fall Out Boy and ear-drum assaulting Paramore are back. So to hear One Direction "steal" a melody or riff from something actually good makes my day.

I really like this song more than I have any right to. The whole thing fills a tiny hole in my heart that I missed for so long. Though I never liked boybands, there were a few really dumb, cheesy pop rock songs I used to hear a lot in the early 2000s. I kinda wish Good Charlotte came back for that reason. "The Anthem" was silly, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" was goofy, and "Hold On" was tacky, but they cured my longing for some real guitars and drums blaring. Even the Click 5's really stupid pining over unrequited love in "Just the Girl" was adorable. Though slightly more acoustic at times, I still like Michelle Branch's "Everywhere" and "Breathe" to this day. Soft and pop rock were my childhood, so anything that reminds me of it in the midst of the autotune, country-hiphop, and dub step black hole of suck earns a listen from me.

When I take off my nostalgia glasses, however, this is one of the only One Direction songs that feels authentic and honest. The lyrics paint a story that seems believable. A guy is so into this amazing girl, and even after hanging out and teasing playfully, he didn't "win her over". But the time he spent with her was so wonderfully biased, the other details of that night were blurred.  He can't remember "the best song ever" because he was so focused on just being with her. That's understandable. Yeah, I'm not a guy, but I've had memories and thoughts that were greatly exaggerated and influenced. I was so completely on an emotional high the whole time when I saw HIM in concert that I happily declared that my life was complete. Ah, I was so silly back then... but that concert was AMAZING.

So a band of boys with music that emotionally affects preteens mixed the kind of music I've been missing for years along with a simplistic but sympathetic scenario to create the "Best Song Ever"? And all the boys sound like they are of age to flirt with the listener? And it's so happy, lively, and energetic?

Take that, Justin Beiber! I might've found you mildly annoying instead of just f^%$ing awful if you attempted a feat like this!

On the other hand, I can only call this song the best song ever because that's its name. In reality, it just isn't quality wise. It's very cocky and arrogant, but it makes sense within the context of the story it tells. It's not supposed to be taken seriously; it's supposed to be pure fun. The boys really sound like they had a blast recording it. They're cheering loudly and lively, and the chorus swells with so much life after the tremendous buildup in the verses. To my ears, "Best Song Ever" succeeds in a very surprising way. One Direction, I have to give you some credit for making a song that definitely screams "This is us!".

So guess I can let the Directioners... or whatever the fans are called... have their handful of years worshiping these five kids. At least those girls are finally abandoning the crashing and burning Beilieber bandwagon. One Direction may have one decent song for once, and I don't mind crediting them for it, but I'm not buying the hype. I can tolerate their existence because they are far from the worst thing in pop music. ... And I still can't stand their voices, ranging from okay to flat to boring to screechy. Just saying.

3 out of 5

Good for what it is, "Best Song Ever" is probably One Direction's best and only good song. That's fine. Besides, nothing can replace my love of tall, dark-haired baritone men. @///_///@

I wuv u Ville ^//_//^

... And now Youtube will harass me for all of eternity with One Direction-related videos. I hate my life...

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