TRACK 2: “Story of My Life”
SOUNDS LIKE: A buttery soft Mumford & Sons
The album’s second single is the first real departure we’ve heard from the band’s hallmark pop sound, leaning heavily on influence from the current nü-folk scene. The track, co-written by all five boys, clearly takes a notable step toward them avoiding being boxed in as a ‘boy band.’ The acoustic guitars pick along with soft harmonies and what sounds like the tickle of a mandolin somewhere in the mix. While it lacks the sing along quality we’ve come to know from 1D, it’s warm and meaningful without being a soppy ballad.
TRACK 3: “Diana”
SOUNDS LIKE: The Police‘s “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” mixed with Don Henley‘s “The Boys Of Summer”
The ’80s nostalgia gets very real on “Diana,” a bouncy romp with a bumping bass line seemingly culled from The Police’s catalog, a “tribute” only slightly less shameless than what Bruno Mars did with “Locked Out Of Heaven.” But don’t get too married to the image of Harry Styles morphing into Sting and rambling on about tantric sex — as soon as the chorus hits, we’re basically singing Don Henley’s oft-covered “The Boys Of Summer.” Lyrically, the aim is to win the eponymous Diana over, so both the boys’ and her life can be saved, if not by love then by nostalgic hooks. A worthy shot at the pop-rock throwback.