- 13 Jan 20
Liam Payne heads in the wrong direction
Directioners have had to wait four years for a solo album by Liam Payne. Well, here it is. While most of his fellow band members found a niche for themselves – Harry Styles ventured into '70s rock, Niall Horan became the newest pop-folkster, and Zayn Malik made a name for himself in R&B – Payne sticks with pop and hip-hop on LP1.
The album is essentially a collection of the singles he's released since One Direction went on hiatus. All of them worked well on their own and certainly appealed to a mainstream audience: 'Strip That Down' reached the top 5 in four countries, including Ireland and the UK, while 'For You' – his duet with Rita Ora for the soundtrack of Fifty Shades Freed – was also a top 10 hit.
But given that some of the tracks came out two years ago, they already suffer from over-familiarity. Much of the material is also disappointingly formulaic. with Payne intoning shallow, oversexualised lyrics that are paired over generic beats. There are some outright lyrical howlers, as on 'Rude Hours' when he sings, "Meet me in the parking lot / Yeah, might be a bad idea / I probably do your ass in the car".
Even his attempts at ballads and more serious moments fail, and result in soulless pop. Just when you think it can't get any worse, Payne even attempts to – wait for it – rap on 'Tell Your Friends'. Just to put the tin hat on it, he closes the album with a dismal festive number, 'All I Want (For Christmas)'.
LP1 is just a mess. Next please!