Carrie & Lowell
Nothing anyone says is going to stop the X Factor finalists' debut album being a gargantuan success – their first single What Makes You Beautiful is already the fastest-selling of the year – but here's the clincher: Up All Night is a reasonable opening effort.
Liam, Harry, Zayn, Niall and Louis have a certain chemistry, a bouncy, boysy joie de vivre that makes this a zippy listen. That first single was no freak – the album brims with the same kind of punchy pop-rock, aiming for Kelly Clarkson territory with One Thing and Save You Tonight and claiming it with a cover of Tell Me A Lie, a track that didn't make her recent album. These blasts of power pop suit the lads' puppyish appeal.
Otherwise the emphasis is on the ladies, and specifically on how they should dump their boyfriends and come running to Harry etc. Ballads like Same Mistakes and I Wish can be a bit of a bore, but a superior example like uplifting current single Gotta Be You keeps the pecker up. The only misstep is Stole My Heart's blatant retread of Taio Cruz's Dynamite that only reinforces their (or their management's) decision to go pop-rock. When they stand by their convictions those boyfriends are well dumped.