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One Direction, Take Me Home (SYCO)

Right place, right time.

That's the only way to describe the One Direction phenomenon because it is pointless to criticise their music in the face of worldwide sales figures. With Take That dropping the Peter Pan act and becoming proper men, and JLS ploughing a (slightly) more urban furrow, every pop door in the universe lay conveniently open for this X Factor construction. Simon Cowell doesn't miss that kind of opportunity.

Take Me Home picks up from where Up All Night left off, as Live While We're Young marries a battering-ram of a beat to the up-a-note-down-a-note melodic range of a nursery rhyme. And so it continues through a boardroom-approved set of songs that are all hook, no bait. When a ballad does come along, cynical listeners can take bets on whose voice might stand up to a solo career.

I suppose, at a basic level, this is what tweenie pop should be – exuberant, instantly catchy, throwaway – and nothing more. Unfortunately, here it is usually much less. I shouldn't knock them because they seem like nice boys – although "seeming like nice boys" shouldn't be Cowell's entire game plan.

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