Take Me Home (One Direction album)

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Take Me Home
A colourful image that features five men fooling around a red telephone box
Studio album by One Direction
Released 9 November 2012 (2012-11-09)
Recorded May–August 2012
Genre Pop
Length 42:18
Label
Producer
One Direction chronology
Up All Night
(2011)
Take Me Home
(2012)
Midnight Memories
(2013)
Singles from Take Me Home
  1. "Live While We're Young"
    Released: 28 September 2012
  2. "Little Things"
    Released: 12 November 2012
  3. "Kiss You"
    Released: 8 February 2013

Take Me Home is the second studio album by British-Irish boy band One Direction, released on 9 November 2012 by Sony Music Entertainment. As a follow-up to One Direction's internationally successful debut album, Up All Night (2011), Take Me Home was written in groups and has an average of just under five songwriters per track. Largely recorded and composed in Sweden during 2012, Savan Kotecha, Rami Yacoub and Carl Falk, who composed One Direction's hits, "What Makes You Beautiful" and "One Thing", spent six months in Stockholm developing songs for the album, and were able to shape melodies around the members' tones.

The album's songs are characterised by metronomic pop, vocal harmonies, hand claps, prominent electric guitar riffs, bright synthesizers, a homogeneous sound and message, and rotations of lead vocals. The members' voices are presented individually on the record, and its lyricism speaks of falling in love, unrequited love, the insistence that flaws are what make a person unique, commitment, jealousy, and longing for past significant others. Take Me Home garnered mostly positive reviews from music critics. There was praise for its quality of production, while criticism hinged on its generic, rushed nature.

Globally, the album topped the charts in more than 35 countries, and was the fourth best-selling album of 2012, selling 4.4 million units. The album's number-one debut on the US Billboard 200 chart made One Direction the first group to bow atop the Billboard 200 with their first two albums since American girl group Danity Kane entered with Welcome to the Dollhouse in 2008 and their self-titled debut in 2006. One Direction also became the second act in 2012 to achieve two number-one albums within a 12-month period, and the first boy band in US chart history to land two number-one albums in a calendar year. Their debut album and Take Me Home were the third and fifth best-selling albums of 2012 in the United States, respectively, making the band the first act to place two albums in the year-end top five in the Nielsen SoundScan era.

The album's lead single, "Live While We're Young", released on 28 September 2012, peaked inside the top ten in almost every country it charted in and recorded the highest one-week opening sales figure for a song by a non-US artist. The subsequent singles, "Little Things" and "Kiss You", were less successful, although the former topped the UK Singles Chart. To support the release, One Direction performed the album's songs on several televised programmes and during their worldwide Take Me Home Tour (2013).

Production[edit]

One Direction greet Swedish fans in Stockholm, Sweden, May 2012, as the recording commenced at Kinglet Studios.

In early 2012, One Direction revealed that a follow-up release to their debut album, Up All Night (2011), was in development. "In the summer, we're going to get back and start a new record. We want to bring out a record nearly every year, every year and a half," Niall Horan said, revealing they were arranging "meetings and stuff with different writers and producers."[1] In March 2012, McFly frontman Tom Fletcher confirmed that he would be writing a song for the album.[2] In February 2012, One Direction expressed interest in working with Ed Sheeran,[3] and in June 2012, Sheeran confirmed that they were in contact: "I'm going into the studio in August to produce the tracks for them. I won't feature on the tracks though".[4]

In April 2012, The Independent reported that Simon Cowell, the group's manager, had challenged prominent songwriters to compete for space on One Direction's second album.[5] Dee Demirbag, responsible for repertoire at BMG Rights Management, a music publisher, in Scandinavia, said: "Breaking a boy band in the U.S. is about as big as it gets in the music industry, so you can imagine the competition to get cuts on the next One Direction album is immense".[5] In addition, the article reported that Syco Records was working on candidates with Max Martin and Kristian Lundin.[5] By August 2012, it was confirmed that album would feature work from veterans such as Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub, Dr. Luke, Cirkut, and Shellback.[6]

Take Me Home was written in groups and has an average of just under five songwriters per track. "The Swedish-style songwriting: melody first" was predominantly utilised, according to Time correspondent Douglas Wolk. Savan Kotecha, Yacoub, and Falk, who composed One Direction's hits, "What Makes You Beautiful" and "One Thing", spent six months in Stockholm, Sweden, developing songs for the album, and were able to shape melodies around their tones. Kotecha reflected: "We’ll spend days, sometimes weeks, challenging the melody. The goal is to make it sound like anyone can do this, but it's actually very difficult".[7] In addition, after viewing the international success of "What Makes You Beautiful", the trio conceptualised songs "that kids could play on guitar and cover on YouTube."[7]

After extensive promotional appearances in support of their debut album, One Direction began recording the album in May 2012, in Stockholm, Sweden, at Kinglet Studios.[8][9][10] In June 2012, the group continued recording the album in the United States, while touring on the final leg of their Up All Night Tour.[11] Horan, in a June interview with MTV News, disclosed that the group were intending to spend their time in July and August "getting the album done."[12] Besides sessions in Kinglet Studios, recording sessions and mixing for the album took place at Chalice Studios in Los Angeles, MixStar Studios in Virginia Beach, Wendy House Productions in London, and Sticky Studios in Surrey, England.[8]

Packaging[edit]

The album cover artwork, revealed on 30 August 2012, features the group surrounding a traditional British K2 red telephone box, a familiar sight on the streets of the UK.[13][14]

Music and lyrics[edit]

The opening guitar riff of "Live While We're Young" was compared by some critics to that of The Clash's (pictured) 1982 single, "Should I Stay or Should I Go".

The album's songs are characterised by metronomic rock-inherited pop, vocal harmonies, hand claps, prominent electric guitar riffs, bright synthesizers, double entendres for sexual intercourse, a homogeneous sound and message, the pitch-correcting software Auto-Tune, and rotations of lead vocals.[7][15][16][17][18] Jon Caramanica, writing in The New York Times, considered the album "far more mechanical" than their debut album, although noted that it is sonically and lyrically similar.[16] San Lansky, an editor for Idolator, described it as "’80s-inflected and intermittently rock-dappled," and as more indebted to the "sanitized punk crunch of McFly" than to teen pop.[19]

Alexis Petridis, a music journalist, interpreted its signature sound as a "peppy, synth-bolstered take on early-80s new-wave pop, heavy on clipped rhythms and chugging guitars," which, he said, is at least an improvement on the substitute R&B "that was once the grim lot of the boyband."[17] The opening guitar riff of "Live While We're Young" has been noted as similar to that of The Clash's 1982 single, "Should I Stay or Should I Go", by some critics.[7][16][17][18][20] According to Petridis, the guitar is played thrice between the riff with the plectrum stroking the strings, while it is pressed. One note in the chord is changed, which Petridis surmised was probably to avoid paying any royalty to the Clash.[17] "Rock Me" has a clapping, mid-tempo beat that has been likened to that "We Will Rock You", a 1977 single by Queen.[7][21]

The group's voices are presented individually on the record.[7] Savan Kotecha noted that the Backstreet Boys' late-’90s hits inspired the way he formulated One Direction's voices for the album.[7] Composer Julian Bunetta, who worked on three of Take Me Home's tracks, also tried to place emphasis on the sound of each member: "The fans can tell the difference, but we wanted to make sure that when it came on the radio, the average person knew that it must be One Direction, because it’s five guys."[7] Likewise, Caramanica noted that the album's songs produced by Bunetta "tend to start out with more breathing room, giving the guys a chance to show off vocally". The album's lyricism speaks of falling in love, unrequited love, the insistence that flaws are what make a person unique, and commitment, in songs such as "Little Things," "Last First Kiss," "Back For You," and "They Don't Know About Us."[16][17][18][22] Other tracks, like "Heart Attack," "Rock Me," "I Would," and "Over Again," have a more solemn tone, addressing jealousy and longing for past significant others.[22]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 69/100[23]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[15]
BBC Music favourable[24]
Daily Express 3/5 stars[25]
Entertainment Weekly C[26]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[17]
The Independent 4/5 stars[27]
The New York Times
PopMatters 6/10[28]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[29]
Sputnikmusic 2/5 stars[30]
The Washington Post favourable[31]

The album received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 69, based on nine reviews.[23] Despite its "boardroom-defined objectives" and "safety", Al Fox, writing for BBC Music, considered the music itself "notable quality" and reliable.[24] Matt Collar from Allmusic described it as an "immediately catchy mix of dancey pop that maximizes the group's shared lead-vocal approach and peppy, upbeat image."[15] Kate Wills from The Independent praised the uptempo material while defining the ballads as jarring, a notion shared by John Dolan of Rolling Stone.[27][29] Although he dubbed it "actually pretty great – certainly better than it needs to be," Sam Lansky for Idolator thought the album is predictably generic, and interpreted it as "a little cynical, even as it excels in making some of the purest pop of the year."[19]

Entertainment Weekly writer Adam Markovitz panned the record as an empty gesture and asserted that the album was rushed, signifying an album with "barely enough zip to keep the kids up past dinner."[26] Likewise, Robert Copsey from Digital Spy wrote, "The result [of Take Me Home] may see them progressing at a snail's pace, but when you've got it so good, what's the rush anyway?"[32] In a mixed review, The New York Times contributor Jon Caramanica appreciated the album's sonic palette, but dismissed its lyricism as narrow and tedious, and Sheeran's contributions as "unusually lumpy in the hands of such a polished group". Caramanica characterised the members' vocals as "fundamentally interchangeable", and opined that only Zayn Malik "breaks free from the pack vocally with any regularity."[16]

While he commended the album for its "variable quality", Alexis Petridis for The Guardian felt the record would not be able to transcend its target market, a core audience aged approximately 8 to 12 and female: "To anyone else, the mystery of One Direction's success – or at least the sheer scale of it – remains as opaque as ever."[17] The latter view was shared by Ben Rayner of the Toronto Star: "Unless you’re in the target demographic or are, perhaps, a mom who lived through the same thing in her youth, there's no point in even going near this record, of course, but the rest of us were never meant to in the first place."[33] Writing for HitFix, Melinda Newman maintained that the album "masterfully hits its target", and concluded as follows: "I’m so far out of the One Dimension demographic, I practically need a GPS to find it."[21]

Commercial performance[edit]

Globally, Take Me Home topped the charts in more than 35 countries, and was the fourth best-selling album of 2012, selling 4.4 million units.[34][35] In the United Kingdom, the album sold over 94,000 copies in its first two days of sale.[36] It debuted atop the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 155,000 copies, becoming their first album to top the chart and the second fastest selling album of 2012.[37] The album and its second single, "Little Things", both debuted simultaneously at number one in the UK on 18 November 2012, making One Direction the youngest act in British chart history to achieve the feat.[38] The album became the fifth best-selling album of 2012 in the UK, having sold 616,000 copies by the end of 2012.[39] It was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 15 February 2013, denoting shipments of 600,000 copies.[40] As of January 2014, the album has sold 906,000 copies in the UK.[41]

In Ireland, Take Me Home became the fastest-selling album of 2012,[42] lodged six consecutive weeks atop the Irish Albums Chart, and was certified triple platinum by the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA).[43][44] In Italy, the collection became their second Italian chart-topper, and Italy's seventh best-selling album of 2012.[45][46] It has been certified double platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry (FIMI), indicating sales of 60,000 copies.[47] In the Netherlands, the album debuted at number-one on 17 November 2012, and shipped 25,000 copies in its first day of release.[48][49] It was certified platinum by 18 December 2012, denoting shipments of 50,000 copies in the region.[49] After a month of its release, it was certified platinum in Poland for shipments of 30,000 copies,[50] while it became the seventh best-selling album of 2012 in Denmark, having sold 28,875 copies by year end in that country.[51] In Sweden, the album was the ninth best-selling album of 2012, and has been certified platinum by the Swedish Recording Industry Association (GLF), signifying shipments of 40,000 units.[52]

The album debuted at number one on the Australian ARIA Chart dated 25 November 2012, a position it held for a second week.[53] It was certified platinum in Australia in its first week by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and has since been certified double platinum for a shipment of 140,000 copies.[54]

The record became the band's second number-one album in the United States in the week of 18 November 2012, and recorded the biggest first-week sales tally for an album by a boy band since N'Sync's Celebrity (2001), and the third-largest debut sales week of 2012, behind Taylor Swift's Red and Babel by Mumford & Sons, with 540,000 copies sold.[55][56] One Direction became the first group to bow atop the Billboard 200 with their first two albums since American girl group Danity Kane entered with Welcome to the Dollhouse in 2008 and their self-titled debut in 2006, the second act in 2012 to achieve two number-one albums within a 12-month period alongside Justin Bieber, and the first boy band in US chart history to land two number-one albums in a calendar year.[55][56] The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on 5 December 2012, denoting shipments of one million copies.[57] It became their second album in 2012 to top the one million mark in US sales in the week of 16 December 2012, making them the first act to achieve the feat in a calendar year since 2009, and the first group or duo to achieve the feat since Rascal Flatts in 2007.[58] Their debut album and Take Me Home were the third and fifth best-selling albums of 2012 in the United States, respectively, making the band the first act to place two albums in the year-end top five in the Nielsen SoundScan era.[59]

Promotion[edit]

One Direction performing in Glasgow during the album's accompanying concert tour, February 2013

Take Me Home has yielded three singles, including two US singles. Its lead single, "Live While We're Young", was released by Syco Records on 28 September 2012. The song rocketed to worldwide success, peaking at number one in Ireland and New Zealand and the top ten in almost every country it charted in.[60][61][62] In the United States, "Live While We're Young" debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, sold 341,000 downloads in its first week, and bowed at number one on the Digital Songs chart. Its debut marks the highest bow by a British group and the second-highest debut among all UK acts, outpaced only by Elton John's number one arrival with "Candle in the Wind 1997". Its opening sales denote the biggest opening sales figure for a single by a non-US artist and the third ever for a download by a group, surpassed by the arrivals of Maroon 5's 2012 single, "Payphone" (493,000), and The Black Eyed Peas' 2009 single, "Boom Boom Pow" (465,000).[63][64] "Little Things" was released in the UK and Ireland on 12 November 2012, as the second single.[65][66] The track debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart of 18 November 2012, becoming One Direction's fifth top ten appearance and second number-one hit in the United Kingdom.[37] "Kiss You", chosen as the second and final US single third and final overall single of Take Me Home, was released digitally on 17 November 2012, according to MTV News.[67]

The group and the album's lead single were featured in a Pepsi television commercial for the United States, which premiered on the Fox Broadcasting Company network on 10 October 2012.[68] Columbia Records allowed the record to stream in full on iTunes in the week leading up to its 13 November 2012 release.[69] In addition, One Direction promoted the album in a series of live appearances from October toward December, notably on television programmes The X Factor USA,[70] The X Factor UK,[71] The Today Show, which drew a record crowd of 15.000 people to the Rockefeller Center,[72] and the BBC's Children in Need 2012 telethon.[73] Additional live appearances include at the Royal Variety Performance, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II,[74] the Bambi Awards,[75] and a headlining sold-out show at New York City's Madison Square Garden.[76] The album's accompanying concert tour, the Take Me Home Tour, commenced at London's O2 Arena on 23 February 2013.[77][78] The concert tour consists of over 100 shows in Australasia, Europe, and North America, and is set to visit arenas and stadiums from February through October 2013. Announced by member Liam Payne at the 2012 BRIT Awards in early 2012, the original concert tour was billed as the UK & Ireland Arena Tour.[79][80] In mid-2012, the concert tour expanded with legs in North America and Australasia following the band's international breakthrough.[81][82] In the UK and Ireland, ticket sales reached 300,000 within a day of release, which included a six-date sell out at the O2 Arena in London.[83] In Australian and New Zealand markets, tickets grossed US$15.7 million, with all 190,000 tickets being sold for eighteen shows to be held in Australia and New Zealand.[84]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Live While We're Young"   Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha Yacoub, Falk 3:18
2. "Kiss You"   Shellback, Yacoub, Falk, Kotecha, Kristian Lundin, Kristoffer Fogelmark, Albin Nedler Falk, Yacoub 3:03
3. "Little Things"   Ed Sheeran, Fiona Bevan Jake Gosling 3:39
4. "C'mon, C'mon"   Julian Bunetta, Jamie Scott, John Ryan Bunetta, Ryan[a] 2:45
5. "Last First Kiss"   Fogelmark, Nedler, Kotecha, Yacoub, Falk, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik Falk, Yacoub, Nedler, Fogelmark 3:23
6. "Heart Attack"   Shellback, Kotecha, Yacoub, Falk, Lundin Yacoub, Falk, Shellback 2:56
7. "Rock Me"   Allan Grigg, Sam Hollander, Peter Svensson, Lukasz Gottwald, Henry Walter Dr. Luke, Kool Kojak, Cirkut, Emily Wright[b] 3:20
8. "Change My Mind"   Yacoub, Falk, Kotecha Falk, Yacoub 3:32
9. "I Would"   Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Dougie Poynter Bunetta, Ryan[a], Sam Waters[b] 3:21
10. "Over Again"   Sheeran, Robert Conlon, Alexander Gowers Gosling 3:02
11. "Back for You"   Fogelmark, Nedler, Kotecha, Yacoub, Payne, Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Niall Horan Falk, Yacoub, Nedler, Fogelmark 2:58
12. "They Don't Know About Us"   Tebey Ottoh, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Tommy Lee James, Peter Wallevik, Tommy P Gregersen Bunetta, Ryan[a], Ottoh[b] 3:20
13. "Summer Love"   Steve Robson, Wayne Hector, Lindy Robbins, Payne, Tomlinson, Malik, Styles, Horan Robson 3:28
Notes
  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies a vocal producer
  • ^[c] signifies an additional producer

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Country (Provider) Certifications
Argentina (CAPIF) Platinum[129]
Australia (ARIA) 3× Platinum[54]
Canada (Music Canada) 3× Platinum[130]
Chile (IFPI Chile) Platinum[131]
Denmark (IFPI Denmark) Platinum[132]
Europe (IFPI) Platinum[133]
France (SNEP) Platinum[134]
Greece (IFPI Greece) 2× Platinum[135]
Germany (IFPI Germany) Gold[136]
Hungary (MAHASZ) Gold[137]
Ireland (IRMA) 3× Platinum[44]
Italy (FIMI) 3× Platinum[47]
Japan (RIAJ) Platinum[138]
Mexico (AMPROFON) 4× Platinum[139]
Netherlands (NVPI) Platinum[49]
New Zealand (RIANZ) 2× Platinum[140]
Poland (ZPAV) Platinum[50]
Portugal (AFP) Platinum[141]
Spain (PROMUSICAE) 2x Platinum[142]
Sweden (GLF) Platinum[52]
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland) Gold[143]
United Kingdom (BPI) 3× Platinum[40]
United States (RIAA) 2x Platinum[57]
Venezuela (APVF) Diamond[144]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format(s) Edition(s)
Netherlands[145] 9 November 2012 CD, digital download Standard, deluxe
Germany[146] Standard, deluxe
Australia[147] Standard, deluxe
United Kingdom[148] 12 November 2012 Standard, deluxe
United States[149] 13 November 2012 Standard, deluxe
Spain Standard, deluxe
Japan[150] 14 November 2012 Standard, deluxe
China[151][152] 30 December 2012 CD Standard
28 June 2013 Deluxe

References[edit]

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External links[edit]