5 Directions One Direction Should Go In With Next Album

(Radio.com) One Direction released its debut, Up All Night, in 2011 and followed it up with Take Me Home last year. Now, the five-piece is prepping its third release just a few months after the release of the last, with the release date rumored to be around Christmas. One D seem to be on the same track as Rihanna, who has released seven albums in just seven years.

For its first two records, One Direction rarely veered from the standard pop sound, with occasional bursts of pop-rock led by noticeable guitars and catchy choruses. While there's not necessarily any reason to believe the boys would mess with this formula it's earned them multi-platinum albums on both accounts one has to wonder if the status quo might get stale after awhile, even for the group's legions of fans.

So in the spirit of last week's Frank Ocean feature, it's back to the drawing board to find the next big sound for the world's current reigning boy band. Rather than just take a mere one direction, here are five directions we'd like to see the lads take on their upcoming third album.

The Ed Sheeran/Believe Acoustic Phase: Though it didn't have such a huge presence in the States, "Little Things" (the second single from Take Me Home) joined "What Makes You Beautiful" as a No. 1 hit in the band's native United Kingdom. If you thought the song just sounded a lot like Ed Sheeran on first listen, it's because Sheeran co-wrote the mid-tempo acoustic ballad. While the song's subject matter (pointing out a girl's flaws amid blanket affection) might have been a bit iffy for the group's fanbase, the musical direction the song took wouldn't be too hateful, be it all slower folk tunes la Sheeran or fully acoustic numbers akin to what Justin Bieber has done on his Believe Acoustic album. If done correctly, such a phase could give way to stronger songwriting. Read the other four here.

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