Are One Direction the best boy band ever?
As One Direction release their second album, Take Me Home, there is little doubt that it will race straight to number one on both sides of Atlantic. There is seemingly no stopping this juggernaut of hair, tunes and testosterone, and it has got us wondering – could they just be the best boy band ever?
The people have spoken
It's undeniable that One Direction's achievements to date are staggering. Their first album, Up All Night, topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and became the first ever debut by the British group to enter the US Billboard chart at number one. So far it has sold more than five million copies and ruled the sales roost from Mexico to New Zealand – so what is 1D's secret?
It's the songs, stoopid!
No matter how sexy a boy band look and how much their fans swoon, they will be nothing without fantastic songs. Like all ace groups from the Beatles on, One Direction make great pop tunes that teem with life, style and character and have choruses to die for. Just think of the melody line to Live While We're Young then try to stop mentally humming it. See – you can't do it, can you?
Talent will out
While many pop acts need backing tapes (hello, Mr Bieber!) or are plain boring live (Westlife – yawn!), One Direction are the real deal and skilled musicians. Their gigs may be scream-filled all-singing, all-dancing affairs, but 1D are no choreographed puppets. Niall Horan plays guitar like a virtuoso and the boys' harmonies are forensic: even the sniffy US serious-music bible Rolling Stone grudgingly admitted its surprise that "There is no need to worry about a backing track or a bum note, a pleasant realisation at a pop show."
The last gang in town
From the Beatles to Take That, the best boy bands have always come across as a tight gang of mates, and One Direction tick all the boxes. They clearly get on like a house on fire, their banter on stage and in interviews is sharp and hilarious, and – a crucial acid test – they seem like they would be a great laugh to hang out with. It's a fairly safe bet that when One Direction get round to making their movie – and, let's face it, there WILL be a 1D movie – it will be a lot of fun, and worth seeing whether you are a diehard fan or not.
Sex on a stick
Sex sells, and without a duff Gary Barlow in their midst, ALL of One Direction are pretty enough to make their fans want to take them home and either mother them or get down and dirty with them. There is someone for everyone, whether it's rugged Liam, sultry Zayn, cute Niall or cheeky Louis, while dimpling and tousled Harry can seemingly make ANY woman from 16 to 60 go weak at the knees, and is behaving exactly like any lucky 18-year-old lad with that ability would do. More power to his, er, elbow – and more power to One Direction…
Do you think One Direction are the best boyband ever? Let us know if you agree on Twitter @MusicOnVM.