Tried and tested works best

Tried and tested works best

One Direction's meteoric rise seems infinite, with the release of their third album in as many years heading to the top of just about every chart.

Opener and first single Best Song Ever is slightly cocky, with beats reminiscent of their debut single What Makes You Beautiful. It's an earworm you'll hum all day.

The band has claimed that this is a "rockier" album, and a rock vibe of sorts is evident in places. Diana sounds like something The Police could have released if they were still together (ask your parents), while the title song, an attempt at stadium rock, comes off as watered-down Aerosmith. That's not to say they're bad. There's just more swagger than substance.

Given the recent popularity of folk rockers The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons, it's no surprise the producers put jangly guitar and driving drums on the above-average Story of My Life, Happily and Through the Dark.

But it's with pure pop that these boys are in their element. Better Than Words demands arms swaying in the air, while the devil-may-care attitude and air guitar potential of Alive make it one of the most fun songs here.

Add a couple of swoonsome ballads, and you've got a record which ensures we'll still be talking about 1D for at least another year.

YP Rating: 3/5

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