What is One Direction’s Musical Legacy?

What is One Direction’s Musical Legacy?

Ask any casual music fan how One Direction will be remembered following its impending hiatus, and some form of the word “big” will be mentioned in response. Since forming on The X Factor in 2010, the U.K. boy band has become one of the most dominant pop acts on the planet, capable of packing stadiums with screaming fans and cranking out one monster-selling album per year. Their singles have been huge, their box office grosses has been eye-popping, their TV performances are deafening and their presence in popular culture is towering. As it stands, any portrait of 2010s pop without Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson front-and-center is an incomplete one.

Okay, so One Direction continues to be massive, especially judging by the excitement around (and sales projections for) this Friday’s release of new album Made In The A.M. Can we talk about how good One Direction is, as a consistent source of rock-solid pop over the past half-decade? Can anyone? Is it possible for one of music’s defining acts to double as one of its most critically overlooked?

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