Battle of the hearthrobs: 1D vs. JB


Yes, I am a fan of One Direction and Justin Bieber, and I welcome the hate that I get for loving these heartthrobs. Sometimes you just have to ignore your inner “pretentious music critic” so that you can have some fun.

So, along with every middle schooler in America, I was excited for Nov. 13 to roll around because both artists decided to release new albums. The anticipation was high for both, but for different reasons.

For One Direction, “Made in the A.M” is their first album without their original fifth member, Zayn Malik. Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik formed One Direction during the UK’s “The X Factor” in 2010. Since then, they have become one of the biggest names in music due to their catchy hits and army of fans. However, Malik parted ways with the group last March, shattering my heart and the hearts of thousands of tweens across the world. The band, however, decided to stick through his departure and created one more album before they take a two-year hiatus to explore different paths.

“Made in the A.M.” is a perfect present to fans before they take this extended break. Is the album a major leap of genius from their previous work? No, it doesn’t stretch far from their last album “Four,” but that does not mean it isn’t good. “Made in the A.M.” is full of One Direction doing what they do best, singing pop-style, puppy-love songs. “Perfect,” “Olivia” and “History” are just that. They are cheery ballads about young love – like a majority of their past singles.

This is the type of music that will never leave your head – you will play this in the car, you will listen to this while you study, you will have these songs in your dreams – they are just that catchy.  If you dont want that to happen, stay away from the songs  “A.M.” and “Love You Goodbye”

For Justin Bieber, his fourth album, “Purpose,” marks a milestone in his fluctuating career. Bieber was discovered on YouTube and immediately flooded the charts with his angelic, up-beat hits. However, with rising stardom, Bieber began garnering an awful reputation. He got arrested multiple times with an assault charge and DUI, made his body guards carry him up the Great Wall of China, and I didn’t think there was any coming back for him when he visited the Anne Frank house and wrote in the guestbook that he hoped she would have been a “Belieber.”

Despite these cringe-worthy moments, Bieber has climbed his way up from rock-bottom, restoring his image by having a Comedy Central roast for himself, publically apologizing on multiple media outlets and giving an emotional performance of his single “Where Are You Now?” at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Bieber’s album “Purpose” has a similar pattern of repetitiveness seen in “Made in the A.M.,” but not in a good way. When I started listening to the album, I thought I was listening to one really long song, but it turned out to be three completely different tracks. “No Pressure” and “No Sense” are hard to distinguish. The biggest difference is that “No Sense” is much worse. Most of the songs on the new album lack any sort of real hook. However, there are some notable objections that almost make up for this.

“Love Yourself,” penned by song-writing pro Ed Sheeran, is a simple song that Bieber uses to cleverly dig at his ex. “Life Is Worth Living” is backed only by piao, and allows Bieber’s harmonic voice to shine. Other songs, “Where Are You Now?” and “Sorry” rival One Direction in their catchiness and are understandably being played constantly on the radio. If Bieber had stayed away from lifeless beats, his album as a whole would be better.

One Direction and Justin Bieber both fall into a pattern of having albums that are filled with similar songs, however One Direction’s tracks are all enjoyable to listen to, while half of Bieber’s put me to sleep.

Despite my opinion, “Purpose” and “Made in the A.M.” are battling it out for No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. Industry predictors are saying the albums are too close in numbers to make a guess for which will earn the coveted top spot.

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