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Take Me Home is One Direction's second studio album that was released on November 9, 2012 by Syco Music & Columbia Records.

Album BackgroundEdit

In 2012, One Direction revealed that a follow-up release to their debut album, "Up All Night" was in development. "In the summer, we're going to get back and start a new record. We want to bring out a record nearly every year, every year and a half," Niall Horan said, revealing they were arranging "meetings and stuff with different writers and producers.

In February 2012, One Direction expressed interest in working with Ed Sheeran, and in June 2012, Sheeran confirmed that they were in contact: "I'm going into the studio in August to produce the tracks for them. I won't feature on the tracks though."

In March 2012, McFly frontman Tom Fletcher confirmed that he would be writing a song for the album.

In April 2012, The Independent reported that Simon Cowell, the group's manager, had challenged prominent songwriters to compete for space on One Direction's second album. Dee Demirbag, responsible for repertoire at BMG Rights Management, a music publisher, in Scandinavia, said: "Breaking a boy band in the U.S. is about as big as it gets in the music industry, so you can imagine the competition to get cuts on the next One Direction album is immense".

In addition, the article reported that Syco Records was working on candidates with Max Martin and Kristian Lundin. By August 2012, it was confirmed that album would feature work from veterans such as Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub, Dr. Luke, Cirkut, and Shellback.

The album was written in groups and has an average of just under five songwriters per track. "The Swedish-style songwriting: melody first" was predominantly utilised, according to Time correspondent Douglas Wolk. Savan Kotecha, Yacoub, and Falk, who composed One Direction's hits, "What Makes You Beautiful" and "One Thing", spent six months in Stockholm, Sweden, developing songs for the album, and were able to shape melodies around their tones. Kotecha reflected: "We'll spend days, sometimes weeks, challenging the melody. The goal is to make it sound like anyone can do this, but it's actually very difficult".

In addition, after viewing the international success of "What Makes You Beautiful", the trio conceptualised songs "that kids could play on guitar and cover on YouTube."

After extensive promotional appearances in support of their debut album, One Direction began recording the album in May 2012, in Stockholm, Sweden, at Kinglet Studios. In June 2012, the group continued recording the album in the United States, while touring on the final leg of their "Up All Night Tour".

In a June interview with MTV News, Horan disclosed that the group were intending to spend their time in July and August "getting the album done."

Besides sessions in Kinglet Studios, recording sessions and mixing for the album took place at Chalice Studios in Los Angeles, MixStar Studios in Virginia Beach, Wendy House Productions in London, and Sticky Studios in Surrey, England.

TracklistingEdit

  1. Live While We're Young 3:20
  2. Kiss You 3:04
  3. Little Things 3:40
  4. C'mon, C'mon 2:46
  5. Last First Kiss 3:25
  6. Heart Attack 2:58
  7. Rock Me 3:22
  8. Change My Mind 3:34
  9. I Would 3:22
  10. Over Again 3:03
  11. Back For You 3:00
  12. They Don't Know About Us 3:22
  13. Summer Love 3:30

Chart PerformanceEdit

Globally, "Take Me Home" topped the charts in more than 35 countries, and was the fourth-best-selling album of 2012, selling 4.4 million units.

In the United Kingdom, the album sold over 94,000 copies in its first two days of sale. The album debuted atop the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 155,000 copies, becoming their first album to top the chart and the second fastest selling album of 2012.

The album and its second single, "Little Things", both debuted simultaneously at number one in the UK on 18 November 2012, making One Direction the youngest act in British chart history to achieve the feat

The album became the fifth-best-selling album of 2012 in the UK, having sold 616,000 copies by the end of 2012. It was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 15 February 2013, denoting shipments of 600,000 copies. As of February 2016, the album has sold 1,000,924 copies in the UK.

In Ireland, Take Me Home became the fastest-selling album of 2012, lodged six consecutive weeks atop the Irish Albums Chart, and was certified triple platinum by the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA).

In Italy, the collection became their second Italian chart-topper, and Italy's seventh-best-selling album of 2012. It has been certified double platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry (FIMI), indicating sales of 60,000 copies.

In the Netherlands, the album debuted at number one on 17 November 2012, and shipped 25,000 copies in its first day of release. It was certified platinum by 18 December 2012, denoting shipments of 50,000 copies in the region.

After a month of its release, "Take Me Home" was certified platinum in Poland for shipments of 30,000 copies while it became the seventh-best-selling album of 2012 in Denmark, having sold 28,875 copies by year end in that country. In Sweden, the album was the ninth-best-selling album of 2012, and has been certified platinum by the Swedish Recording Industry Association (GLF), signifying shipments of 40,000 units.

The album debuted at number one on the Australian ARIA Chart dated 25 November 2012, a position it held for a second week. It was certified platinum in Australia in its first week by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and has since been certified double platinum for a shipment of 140,000 copies.

"Take Me Home" became the band's second number-one album in the United States in the week of 18 November 2012, and recorded the biggest first-week sales tally for an album by a boy band since N'Sync's 2001 album, "Celebrity" and the third-largest debut sales week of 2012, behind Taylor Swift's album, "Red" and Mumford & Sons' album, "Babel" with 540,000 copies sold.

One Direction became the first group to bow atop the Billboard 200 with their first two albums since American girl group Danity Kane entered with their album, "Welcome to the Dollhouse" in 2008 and their self-titled debut album in 2006, the second act in 2012 to achieve two number-one albums within a 12-month period alongside Justin Bieber, and the first boy band in US chart history to land two number-one albums in a calendar year.

The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on 5 December 2012, denoting shipments of one million copies.

It became One Direction's second album in 2012 to top the one-million mark in US sales in the week of 16 December 2012, making them the first act to achieve the feat in a calendar year since 2009, and the first group or duo to achieve the feat since Rascal Flatts in 2007.

One Direction's debut album and "Take Me Home" were the third- and fifth-best-selling albums of 2012 in the United States, respectively, making the band the first act to place two albums in the year-end top five in the Nielsen SoundScan era.

On 29 March 2015, "Take Me Home" surpassed the 2 million threshold becoming their second album (after Up All Night) to sell over 2 million copies in the U.S. As of August 2015, the album has sold 2.02 million copies in the U.S.

Critical ReceptionEdit

"Take Me Home" received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics. On Metacritic, the album received an average score of 68, based on ten reviews. Despite its "boardroom-defined objectives" and "safety", Al Fox, writing for BBC Music, considered the music itself "notable quality" and reliable.

Matt Collar from AllMusic described it as an "immediately catchy mix of dancey pop that maximizes the group's shared lead-vocal approach and peppy, upbeat image."

Kate Wills from The Independent praised the uptempo material on the album while defining the ballads as jarring, a notion shared by John Dolan of Rolling Stone.

Although he dubbed it "actually pretty great—certainly better than it needs to be," Sam Lansky for Idolator thought the album is predictably generic, and interpreted it as "a little cynical, even as it excels in making some of the purest pop of the year."

Simon Gage of Daily Express noted that "it's not going to change the world" but "the voices are good and the charm undiminished."

Chris Richards of The Washington Post wrote that "the group's best songs are dazzlingly efficient" and "the boy band's sophomore album is pop candy in the purest sense—sweet, colorful, and unlike so many releases aimed at ticklish tweenage hearts, consistent."

Sam Lansky of Idolator commented that the album "is actually pretty great—certainly better than it needs to be" while adding that "the hooks are instantaneous and keenly crafted" and "the production is '80s-inflected and intermittently rock-dappled."

Al Fox of BBC Music complimented the album, writing "polished and dependable, despite its safety there are some show-stopping pop anthems present" while adding that the album "takes the One Direction brand, reinforces it nicely, and as far as their fans' needs are concerned, ticks every single box."

Josh Langhoff of PopMatters panned "C'mon C'mon" as the album's best song, calling it "amazing" and "euphoric" and complimenting the group's harmonies while also adding that the album had "unexpected variety" and that "these may be the least articulate cads on the pop charts, but their beats speak volumes."

James Robertson of The Daily Mirror praised the album, writing that "it's fun, infectious and they've found the balance between poptastic fun for the pre-teens and lyrics with meaning for embarrassed twenty-somethings who secretly listen to Up All Night on their iPods" and that "there are some obvious rhymes and repetitive tones but the five-piece have smashed it with Take Me Home.

Carmin Chappell of HuffPost commented that "their maturation into young adults is made evident" and that "although the songs still have the poppy vibe characteristic of boybands, this album has a more cohesive sound than the last" while complimenting the album for how it "successfully embodies the carefree and fun nature of teens".

Sarah Dean, also writing for HuffPost, deemed the album as "disappointingly good pop" and "the kind of music you want to hate and know you shouldn't enjoy as someone who isn't a 'teeny-bopper', but it still puts a smile on your face" while ending her review by saying "One Direction's global music domination won't be ending anytime soon. And this album has made me think it's probably just easier to give in and enjoy it".

Some reviews were less positive, with Entertainment Weekly writer Adam Markovitz panning the record as an empty gesture and asserting that the album was rushed, signifying an album with "barely enough zip to keep the kids up past dinner."

Likewise, Robert Copsey from Digital Spy wrote: "The result [of Take Me Home] may see them progressing at a snail's pace, but when you've got it so good, what's the rush anyway?"

In a mixed review, The New York Times contributor Jon Caramanica appreciated the album's sonic palette, but dismissed its lyricism as narrow and tedious, and Sheeran's contributions as "unusually lumpy in the hands of such a polished group".

Caramanica characterised the members' vocals as "fundamentally interchangeable", and opined that only Zayn Malik "breaks free from the pack vocally with any regularity."

While he commended the album for its "variable quality", Alexis Petridis for The Guardian felt the record would not be able to transcend its target market, a core audience aged approximately 8 to 12 and female: "To anyone else, the mystery of One Direction's success—or at least the sheer scale of it—remains as opaque as ever."

The latter view was shared by Ben Rayner of the Toronto Star: "Unless you're in the target demographic or are, perhaps, a mom who lived through the same thing in her youth, there's no point in even going near this record, of course, but the rest of us were never meant to in the first place."

Writing for HitFix, Melinda Newman maintained that the album "masterfully hits its target", and concluded as follows: "I'm so far out of the One Dimension demographic, I practically need a GPS to find it."

Kyle Kramer of Chicago Tribune called the album "a bit of a cash grab" and "an empty gesture" while stating "that almost every song" on the album "appears carefully engineered to stick to a three-minute run time and the same strict structural formula, in which two verses crescendo into forgettable choruses."

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