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Opinion: What direction will One Direction go?

 

Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction perform on stage during Capital FM's Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium in London on June 6, 2015. Photo Courtesy of TNS

Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction perform on stage during Capital FM’s Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium in London on June 6, 2015. Photo Courtesy of TNS

A week ago, I was still buzzing from One Direction’s performance at Ohio Stadium.

“Could I ever feel the same level of joy that I felt seeing them frolic around the stage?” I wondered.

On Sunday, I left home for Columbus and moved into my first apartment. That evening, I spilled a smoothie, realized I had no carpet cleaner and discovered that One Direction was taking a hiatus.

The notion of adulthood struck me like the glow stick that hit Harry Styles during the concert.

The hiatus news came at a surprising time, with the band in the middle of a stadium tour and having just released a single, “Drag Me Down.”

Band members even said onstage that they’ve already finished recording their fifth album. Maybe this is true, but maybe they just want to keep the fans engaged.

One Direction’s official accounts have not officially said anything about the hiatus, so it’s unclear where this information came from or when the band originally planned to announce it. But Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne have confirmed it by tweeting some clarifying details.

Horan tweeted, “…We are not splitting up, but we will be taking a well earned break at some point next year.”

Tomlinson even promised the group wasn’t going anywhere, and Payne said there is “more to come.”

Interestingly, the only member who hasn’t commented on the matter is Harry Styles. He has expressed his desire to remain in the music industry for life, and perhaps this hiatus will give him the opportunity to test the waters as a solo artist.

While Zayn Malik was the first to go solo, Styles is truly the only member of the group with enough star power to make it on his own. While strength of voice is comparable, Styles’ likeability and stage presence far surpasses Malik’s, and those are key ingredients to becoming a solo artist.

The break was most likely prompted by Tomlinson’s impending fatherhood, but the rest of the boys probably aren’t complaining. Their schedule has been packed for the past five years as they released four albums and went on four tours. The break could recharge them for the next round — or, conversely, make them want to live a more private, normal life.

The band’s consistent release of new songs and its presence in the press are two reasons why One Direction gained so much fan support in a short amount of time. And we all know that boy bands have a limited lifespan.

Depending on how long the hiatus is, there’s a chance that fans will lose interest and One Direction’s fifth album will flop, which would be a big disappointment to the members and a terribly inaccurate representation of their success overall. But perhaps the hiatus is a necessary evil in order to keep the band motivated.

Still, the 1D boys face the question: Is it better to quit while they’re ahead?

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