The last 6 months have been pretty unsettling, dramatic and downright weird in the world of One Direction.
Not only has Zayn jumped ship, Louis is having a baby (!) and now the band have announced that they're going on an extended hiatus after the release of their fifth album, due for release later this year.
Obviously we've all been seriously shaken, upset and (sometimes) confused by the events of the past year, but we're powering through, as it seems are you lot.
When we're having a hard time, we often revisit the boys' back-catalogue and it got us thinking about some of the non-singles that are totally amazing. So we picked out our 6 favourite (and the best) One Direction deep cuts.
"I Should Have Kissed You"
This song was actually a b-side to 1D's third single "One Thing", but it's probably the best thing about the Up All Night era. Written by RedOne, Teddy Sky and excellent Savan Kotecha, "I Should Have Kissed" is best described as an emotional ballad-banger. While traditionally, this song would have been all sad pianos and acoustic guitars, 21st Century pop dictates that it's got to have processed guitars, drum machines and euro-synths, and it's all the better for it.
As an early sign for the boys' penchant for stadium sized pop-rock, "I Should Of Kissed You" is certainly an indicator, the larger-than-life choruses and hook-laden verses practically force you to your feet and get you jumping (while probably crying at the song's lyrics). One of the the band's finer moments right here.
When Take Me Home came out, we were sure that "Heart Attack" would be given the single treatment. How shocked we were, then, when the song was so criminally overlooked. This certainly isn't 'album track' fodder. This is a certified banger.
Also co-written by Savan Kotecha, as well as Shellback (Britney Spears, Adam Lambert, P!nk and more), the song is the boys at one of their popiest, that signature polished guitar and programmed drums leading throughout. The best part for us is Zayn's pre-chorus, matched perfectly with that guitar riff. Oh, not to mention the calls of "Ow!" in the chorus, which are apparently mostly Niall. <3
The band's third album Midnight Memories was a bit of a mission statement: One Direction had grown up and were making music for everyone, not just teenagers (as if they ever were!). So songs like the 80s influenced "Diana", which takes it cues from Aha's "Take On Me" as well as the prog-rock of the 70s, is a perfect example of just how far the boys had come on musically.
At the beginning of the song the pianos and guitars phase in intently as Zayn calls out "Diana!", before Liam kicks off the verses. While it may seem a bit more grown, there's still some boyishness left in the song, from the bopping drums and melody, which has an earnest sing-song quality to it. And, while the subject of whom exactly 'Diana' is has yet to be determined, we can always imagine it's us, right??
"Stole My Heart"
Nowadays if you put the words One Direction and club banger next to each other you'd probably get a laugh and look of pity. However, back in first album times this was an actuality and a bloomin' good one, too.
The track's soft verses are surprising given how hard the boys' sound has become, while euro-dance synths pulse and pop throughout and a driving four-to-the-floor beat pushes the song forward. Yes we couldn't imagine them doing it now, but we're glad they did.
Also, does anyone else get the sense that Liam could be quite the dance-vocalist?
We know that "Stockholm Syndrome' is most definitely a fan favourite and justifiably so. The song contains an element of longing, the drawn out chords at the opening slowly building as the drums pick up pace before the chorus (and that beat) kicks in, giving the song its boost of confidence. We even enjoy the polka-like percussion; it automatically gets your feet moving and your head bopping.
Also, Harry's vocals in the chorus are so gravelly that it almost makes us sweat.
We're going to say it now, this is One Direction's most mature song, and we're not going to take that back. Ok, good, we're glad you agree.
After first hearing "Fireproof", we got serious Fleetwood Mac vibes from the melodies, harmonies and that guitar riff. The song has an gentle rocking to it that's immediately comforting. It's probably the most eclectic thing that the boys have done, and definitely one of the stand outs from their forth album Four. However, what makes the song so unique is it's strange structure; it's seemingly formless, forgoing tradition in favour of two choruses and disjointed verses.
For us, this might be the best thing that band has ever done.