Virtually inescapable during 2012, One Direction have capitalised on the power of social media to become the UK’s biggest teen-pop export since the Spice Girls despite possessing little in the way of star quality, personality or tunes. Having rendered all other boybands obsolete, the Cowell cash cows are understandably milking their phenomenal global success for all it’s worth with the release of their second album in less than 12 months, Take Me Home. Adhering to the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ school of thought, its track-list is almost interchangeable with their Up All Night debut. But there’s an added cynicism here which makes its relentlessly sugary pop sound much harder to stomach. Here’s a look at five of its worst lyrical culprits.

Kiss You

Now in their late teens/early 20s, their contrived attempts at Nickelodeon-friendly innocence are becoming even more unconvincing, especially considering Harry Styles appears to have made a move on every female celebrity aged 30+ within the London borough. Featuring shades of both The Monkees with its psychedelic organ riffs and Bon Jovi with its stadium poodle rock chorus, “Kiss You” may be one of the few sonically interesting tracks on the record but you’d have to be pretty gullible to believe that their Usher-esque smooth talk is for the sole intention of getting to first base: [LISTEN]

Oh, tell me tell me tell me how to turn your love on 
You can get, get anything that you want 
Baby just shout it out, shout it out 
Baby just shout it out, yeah 

Little Things

It’s difficult to think of a boy-band song with a more misguided message than “Little Things.” Yet again preying on the vulnerability of their teenage fanbase, the boys appear to believe they’re reassuring their girlfriends about their body hang-ups. Whilst in reality, they’re basically saying ‘you’re so fat and wrinkly that no-one else will love you. Look how admirable I am to put up with all your faults.’ What makes matters worse is that it’s surrounded by the kind of twee acoustic drivel that has inexplicably made its writer, Ed Sheeran, a worldwide star. Come back Westlife, all is forgiven: [LISTEN]

I know you’ve never loved the crinkles by your eyes when you smile
You’ve never loved your stomach or your thighs 
The dimples in your back at the bottom of your spine 
But I’ll love them endlessly 

Rock Me

‘Do you remember summer ’09?’ asks Harry Styles on this mongrel fusion of Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” Bryan Adams’ “Summer Of 69” and Busted’s entire back catalogue. That’s the summer of ’09. Not ’89. Not ’99. But ’09. Three years ago. Perhaps summing up just how short-term the team behind the group think, “Rock Me” is a hopeless attempt to tap into the theme of nostalgia which also makes you wonder how on earth the weedy and paper-thin tones of Louis even made it past the X-Factor’s first audition stage: [LISTEN]

Do you remember summer ’09?
Wanna go back there every night,
Just can’t lie, was the best time of my life,
Lying on the beach as the sun blew out,
Playing this guitar by the fire too loud,
Oh my, my, they could never shut us down

Over Again

Admittedly, there are a few clever metaphors hidden away in Sheeran’s far more palatable second co-write. But what the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away and this second-rate “Lego House” also contains one of the clumsiest couplets ever committed to record. It may be a unique alternative to their default fist-clenching patter of ‘ooh baby, I need you so much.’ But even Louis appears to be embarrassed at having to utter the ‘showers that are British’ rhyme that makes Des’ree’s ‘I don’t want to see a ghost/It’s the sight that I fear most’ seem like a stroke of lyrical genius: [LISTEN]

Tell me with your mind, body and spirit
I can make your tears fall down like the showers that are British
Whether we’re together or apart
We can both remove the masks and admit we regret it from the start

Nobody Compares

Unlikely to be challenging Sinead O’Connor for the title of ‘ultimate lost love tearjerker,’ the downright lazy “Nobody Compares” is more or less every One Direction uptempo rolled into one, which has wisely been relegated to bonus track status. Another calculated effort to make their army of adoring teenyboppers believe that the group can’t get enough of their imperfections, the transparently smooth talkers also shove in a series of half-hearted compliments which suggests they’ve got a future in used car sales once their pop bubble bursts: [LISTEN]

Now all of my friends say it’s not really worth it
But even if that’s true
No one in the world could stop me from not moving on 
Baby, even if I wanted to
Nobody compares to you