sun 21/07/2024

CD: Liam Payne - LP1 | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Liam Payne - LP1

CD: Liam Payne - LP1

One Direction star's debut has electronic bounce and is sexy as service station forecourt flowers

Too real... too sensual... too much ...

Liam Payne is a Simon Cowell-manufactured pop star worth tens of millions off the back of music that’ll be regarded in a few years’ time much as the Bay City Rollers or Curiosity Killed The Cat are regarded now.

Aesthetically an easy target, then, so there’s a temptation to take a counterintuitive approach and explore only what’s great about his debut album – and it does have its moments – but the short of it is that a wide range of mostly female 15-25 year olds are going to like this, and most others won’t.

Where Harry Styles’ solo output has been courting an audience outside chart–pop, Liam Payne’s M.O. has been to hook up with the electronic dance producers. While his taste veers towards blunt US EDM commerciality, the occasional great backing track still sneaks through. For instance, the woozy, smudged groove of “Tell Your Friends” would be drawing plaudits if it had appeared from somewhere leftfield without Payne’s singing and lyrics.

It’s an album of two parts. The second half is stacked with tunes he’s released over the last three years, many of them hits, and is the more enjoyable. The cuts range from the epic, cinematic “For You” with Rita Ora (from the third Fifty Shades film) to likeable dance-pop numbers such as “Familiar” and “Get Low”, produced by Mike Sabath and Zedd, respectively. His biggest hit, the clothes off floor-filler “Strip That Down” is present and the album closes with sappy new seasonal slowie “All I Want (For Christmas)”.

The lyrics mostly concern love and sex, of course, and the first half’s new tracks blur into one long mash of a hackneyed low-grade romantic pleas and odes to bedroom raunch. “Rude Hours” falls into the latter category and has snappy finger-clicking production but lyrics such as “Meet me in the parking lot, yeah, might be a bad idea – I’ll probably do your ass in the car”. What a gent! The exception is the Ed Sheeran co-write and album opener, “Stack It Up”, which is lively but contains repulsive, venal lyrics about loving money above all else. In the end, LP1 should make lots of money. Not much else about it matters in the long term. So it’s very apt for these times.

Below: Liam is sad because his complex love life has gone wrong at Christmas but he remains hopeful...

His taste veers towards blunt US EDM commerciality, the occasional great backing track sneaks through


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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