We finally have it–a post-Zayn single. What everyone was curious about, fan or not, vocalized or not, new One Direction music was released as secretly as ever just yesterday. The song is called “Drag Me Down,” and in minutes of its release, it was a world-wide trending topic, already launched on radio stations.
At first glance, you might think the central message, “nobody can drag me down,” is a direct reference to Zayn’s departure. But this theme is actually one that the band has returned to, treating the image of perseverance and support as a kind of mantra. Perhaps it’s from their X Factor start, or just boy band nature, but songs like “Don’t Forget Where You Belong” and their video interpretation of “Story of My Life” fit this pattern, as well.
While we are all most likely judging this new track for what it is without Zayn, “Drag Me Down” is another solid hit for One Direction. The song opens with Harry, setting fangirls’ hearts alight, followed by Louis, whose voice grows stronger with each new album. Liam comes in strong and confident, displaying his vocal range, and then Niall steps up to carry the chorus–another testament of growth for the group. I especially love the harmonies in the background, even with simple repetition and the “nobody, nobody” callouts in the chorus. You can hear the different voices distinctly, making the song seem like much more of a collaborative effort. Whether it was intentional amongst recent events or not, it definitely shows that One Direction is staying strong. I will admit, however, if you are familiar with One Direction at all, you can tell where Zayn would have fit in and where he would have made the song that much better. Harry carries the high note at the end, and does pull it off, but there is still a twinge from missing the past.
Nevertheless, One Direction has another catchy, excitable song on their hands. A huge props should go to their marketing and publicity teams, too, for their secrecy and big reveal. The band may be five years old, but they still hold a lot of power in the music world. Check out “Drag Me Down” on Spotify, and download it as well!