Being the music enthusiast that I am, I typically try to dissect the underpinnings of many artists and their respective material. One Direction has a clear ‘hierarchy’ that I wasn’t sure existed before. I don’t think the band necessarily has the personality of the boy bands of the late 90’s and early 00’s, but there are some distinctions within the group musically and perhaps where personality is concerned.
The Hierarchy of One Direction (from Top to Bottom):
- arguably possesses the most distinct voice; could be a solo artist with work/more personality
- Zayn highlights the powered, upper register ad libs on “More Than This“; Carries a good bit of the vocal solos on “Live While We’re Young”; possesses that ‘pop’ voice
- eliminates some of the ‘schmaltz’ of the band given the tattoos (notably on his arm), earrings, ‘bad boy’ edge – also a smoker…
- Dated an older Rebecca Ferguson during X-Factor tenure before Harry Styles went to the extreme of dating MUCH older women… #Trendsetter
- actually draws more attention than the somewhat mysterious Zayn – mainly for his attraction to cougars/older women
- has a solid voice, and handled many solo portions on Up All Night; Zayn may still have an edge
- has a couple of tats, coupled with his highly publicized dating situations, gives him some ‘bad boy’ tendencies; He also kind of looks kind of like a young Mick Jagger
- Looks wouldn’t hold him back from a solo career; I’m unsure of his command as a potential solo artist…
- Underrated, underrated, underrated; seems to have a more restrained personality (if any of these guys really have distinct personalities)
- if we merely judge ‘nice guy’ Liam by personality only in hierarchy, he probably graces the bottom
- Liam has the deepest voice, which distinguishes him from the rest; this is heard on the first solo of “What Makes You Beautiful” (“you’re insecure, don’t know what for…”) and “Live While We’re Young” (“Hey girl, I’m waitin’ on ya, I’m waitin’ on ya/Come on and let me sneak you outAnd have a celebration, a celebrationThe music up, the window’s down…”)
- While Liam’s voice is solid and adds ‘bass’ to the collection of tenors, I can’t envision him being a solo artist; He has the looks, but I’m unconvinced of the ‘swagger’
- He curses a lot… he is Irish
- He has a solo on the song “More Than This” (“If I’m louder, would you see me?/Would you lay down…”) and it’s ok (more than presentable), but you also see why he fits in as more of a ‘role player.’ He doesn’t have the tone of Zayn or Harry.
- Where looks go a long way, many are captivated by Niall’s blondness; arguably the most popular member regardless of role
- has ‘role’ player written all over him
- his solo turns seem to be small as in “More Than This” (“And when I see you on the street/In his arms, I get weak/My body fails, I’m on my knees,Prayin’…”); his voice is a pleasant upper tenor with solid tone, but not extremely ‘commanding’
- wouldn’t be a solo artist by my estimations; solid within a group setting
- older than the multitude, which may hurt his stock of being anymore than a role player
- the most metrosexual member – odd haircut, unique clothing choices – maybe this is to distinguish him more
So who is my favorite member of One Direction. I think the band as a whole has some work to do, regardless of their successes. By that, I am referring to showmanship and even showing more range musically. A criticism many will quickly cite is the missing ‘dance’ elements that characterized past boy bands that seems absent. Musically speaking, there is room to add more personality and nuance. But much like undecided voters in the looming presidential election, if I had to vote/choose, I’d go with Zayn.