One Direction released their first single from the post-Zayn era. Harry, Liam, Niall, and Louis’s track, titled “Drag Me Down,” is an uptempo song which the band claims sets the tone for their fifth studio album and first record as a four-piece.
Although this adjective is not used much to describe today’s pop music, “Drag Me Down” is much funkier than any other One Direction song I have ever heard. The track begins with Harry Styles serenading the listener, aided by only a groovy bass line and light tapping on the hi-hat cymbals of a drum. Soon a guitar, strategically strummed on the offbeat, joins in as Louis Tomlinson begins his portion of the verse. Following Louis’s solo is the pre-chorus, undoubtedly one of my favorite parts of the entire song. The pre-chorus is driven by consistent clapping that propels Liam Payne’s and Niall Horan’s voices towards the climax of the track, its chorus. The chorus of “Drag Me Down” is unbelievably catchy, as Harry sings, “Nobody can drag me down,” and Louis chimes in with “Nobody, nobody,” alongside the funky strumming of an electric guitar.
Upon first listen, I couldn’t help but think that something was missing from this track, but I soon became accustomed to Harry taking over Zayn’s high notes and hearing only four distinct voices instead of five. Critics claimed that in order for 1D to continue to be successful without Zayn, they would have to seriously step up their vocals, and I believe that the boys have definitely conquered this challenge. In particular, Harry’s vocals exceeded my expectations, as he smoothly sings low notes, high notes, and everything in between. He truly shows off his impressive range in this track and even adds a sassy tone to his runs in the last chorus, which makes the perfect ending to this song.
The only downside to this incredible track is that the first and second verses contain the same lyrics, so the listener is unable to dive deeper into One Direction’s story about overcoming negativity. At least the verses are sung by different members (first Harry and Louis, then Niall and Harry) to give the repetitive lyrics some flare and excitement. Repetitive verses are one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to music, but somehow One Direction manages to lessen the blow since their lyrics are just so catchy.