On BBC Radio One Live Lounge, the Manchester band scaled things back, focusing in on the song’s simple melody with help from a keyboard, a drum machine and a wailing guitar. It also doesn’t hurt the sexiness factor one bit that when frontman Matt Healy yearns, “If only you saw what I can see/ You’d understand why I want you so desperately,” he sounds like he really means it.
Their angsty version of the song almost sounds like it could have fit perfectly on the band’s recently released self-titled debut, which is a mix of rock, R&B, electronica and ’80s pop. The album is the perfect soundtrack for a teen movie, which is exactly what the band intended.
“We’re massive fans of John Hughes,” Healy told Radio.com. “We wanted to make a record [that] was almost a soundtrack to our teenage years. If he made a movie about us, this would be the soundtrack.”
Will One Direction fans like this rather sexy update? Still too early to tell. But while you wait, check out Radio.com’s mini-doc on One Direction fans who had some pretty interesting things to say about “What Makes You Beautiful,” below.