One Direction Didn't Let Losing Zayn Drag Them Down In 2015

(Radio.com) When Zayn Malik announced his departure from One Direction in March, observers wondered if the band had reached the beginning of the end. They'd had a great run, but so did the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, whose huge popularity eventually died down as their fan bases grew up and moved on.

In the opening lines of "Drag Me Down," Harry Styles fiercely sings, 'I've got fire for a heart / I'm not scared of the dark / You've never seen it look so easy." Facing indignity and adversity, a special someone's love keeps the lads afloat: Perhaps their 26.1 million Twitter followers? The lyrical content of 'Drag Me Down" casts stalwart fans as key players in a real-time perseverance fable.

It doesn't hurt that the song itself has crossover appeal, hitting a sweet spot of pop and rock that listeners outside their Instagram demographic can access. If you compare NSYNC's final singles 'Pop" and 'Girlfriend," the One Direction hit reveals maturity and evolution their predecessors couldn't nail.

There's a certain cynicism every boy band, girl group and solo teen idol faces after a few years of success. Pop ecologists--reviewers, executives and fans--watch like David Attenborough, looking for telltale signals of their advancing life cycle. Teen pop is a genre of precipitous rise, monumental success and sudden collapse. Read more here.

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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