The Bottom Line
The world's hottest boy band One Direction moves from two celebratory pop hits aimed at lifting the esteem of their hordes of tween girl fans to a song that sounds like a retread musically and a new focus on sex lyrically. The most original element of the song is actually an opening figure that sounds borrowed from a post punk classic. "Live While We're Young" is a disappointment and potentially the first misstep in the story of One Direction's massive worldwide success.
- Uptempo singalong sound
- Clash-style opening instrumental figure
- Sexual innuendo in lyrics
- Cookie cutter music
- Written by Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk, and Savan Kotecha
- Produced by Rami Yacoub and Carl Falk
- Released September 2012 by Syco
Guide Review - One Direction - "Live While We're Young"
One of the elements of the music by boy band One Direction that has made them so compelling is that the subject matter and language of their hits has seemed pefectly aimed to a core audience aged approximately 8 to 12 and female. The first smash hit "What Makes You Beautiful" celebrated the humility of a girl who didn't realize how attractive she truly was. "One Thing" followed a similar pattern and lauded that girl who had some mysterious element that made her absolutely irresisible. For "Live While We're Young," the first single from One Direction volume 2, aka Take Me Home, the boys have jumped ahead to urging, "Let's pretend it's love...tonight let's get some!" The wink and a nod to sexual content may be perfectly appropriate for young men around 20 years of age, but it seems to bear some disrespect for the audience of young girls and their parents.
Musically, the most interesting part of "Live While We're Young" is the instrumental opening which echoes "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" by the Clash. The segment returns later in the song. Older pop music fans are likely to recognize it instantly. However, after that opening, "Live While We're Young" moves into the same formula of the earlier hits. The verse leads into an uptempo chorus that celebrates pretending it's love while not letting any get in the way so, "Tonight let's get some, and live while we're young."
The handling of One Direction as worldwide pop superstars has been nearly pitch perfect to this point. It is difficult to see "Live While We're Young" expanding the audience for the group significantly. In fact, it could even be somewhat of a misstep. To keep One Direction rolling forward, some originality and expansion of the sound is necessary while paying close attention to the core audience. A massive campaign to encourage pre-orders will insure that "Live While We're Young" debuts high on the charts if not at #1, but quality music and marketing will be necessary to maintain the momentum.