If you’ve been keeping track of One Direction band member albums, you’ll have one more to add to your collection after Friday. On December 6th, Liam Payne released his debut album LP1 along with a new single “Live Forever.” The album is 17 tracks long, although 9 of those are singles, many of which we’ve heard already since they were released in 2017 and 2018. 9 singles! Before the album even dropped!!! Less than half of that album is new music!
I’m not going to sugar coat it; I hate this album. A lot of reviewers have picked it apart, and while there are some tracks that are okay, the album as a whole is a flop for me. A large part of it has to do with the fact that LP1 lacks any sort of distinguishing characteristic or personality to it. It jumps from EDM influenced songs like “Get Low” to a Latin sounding dance jam like “Familiar” back to a slow, melancholic tune like “All I Want (For Christmas).” This album is like me in my twenties: unsure of what it wants to be. Except instead of figuring that out, it just ends up sounding generic and boring. As one reviewer in the Independent wrote:
“It’s all fine: shiny and efficient pop, smelling of body oil and new car upholstery. But Payne treats each track like a rental car. He gives each song a spin and hands the keys back like a good lad without leaving a trace…he’s gone from One Direction to One Dimensional.”
Another problem is that some of the songs are really sexual, in kind of a gross way. Sexually charged songs, and even songs objectifying women are unfortunately not new to pop music (I’m looking at you Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”), but the key here is that this is Liam’s debut since One Direction aside from his EP last year; I’m sure he needs to sex it up just like his peers, but the way he goes about it is really strange.
The song that got the most attention over the weekend was “Both Ways” and resulted in #liampayneisoverparty on Twitter. The song is about Liam’s significant other being bisexual and the lyrics are basically him creaming his pants over it.
“My girl, she like it both ways
She like the way it all taste
Couple more, we'll call it foreplay
No, no, I don't discriminate
Bring it back to my place”
“Flipping that body, go head, I go tails
Sharing that body like it's our last meal
One and a two and a three, that's for real”
*Shudders.* First off, as many people pointed out on social media, it fetishizes bisexuality, framing it as a tool for a man’s pleasure and fantasy. Teen Vogue has a great article that breaks this down. But also, aren’t those just gross lyrics? “Sharing that body like it’s our last meal” Ew.
Good to know my bisexuality exists solely for Liam Payne's pleasure. Highlights being "switching the lanes like a Bugatti" and "Never too many hands on her body" pic.twitter.com/IzXhwenK6q— ciaraaaa (@ciaraellen_) December 7, 2019
This isn’t the only song on the album like that either, though the others are quite a bit tamer. Take “Hips Don’t Lie” (not the Shakira song):
“Don't be giving me the eye
Unless you got what I need
I hope your hips don't lie
Unless they're lying with me”
Sounds like a bad Tinder pickup line. Needless to say, Liam has distinguished himself as the worst solo 1D artist so far with this album. A reviewer at Variety even called him a C-level Justin Timberlake. Louis, now is your time.
Speaking of other 1D members, Harry Styles and Niall Horan also released tracks on Friday called “Adore You” and “Put a Little Love On Me” respectively. Harry Styles is the golden child of 1D post breakup. And that’s because Harry has managed to walk the fine line of being a hot hunk while also drinking a lot of “respect women and LGBTQ people” juice. “Adore You” is 10 times more interesting musically than all of LP1, plus the lyrics are adorable af:
“Oh, honey (Ah-ah-ah)
I'd walk through fire for you
Just let me adore you
Like it's the only thing I'll ever do”
Liam Payne: Babe, just kiss that girl it’s hot. I’ve always wanted a threesome.
Harry Styles: You are a beautiful goddess who I would cherish for the rest of my life.
I think the choice is obvious.
This weekend, both Liam and Harry performed at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball, a music festival that takes place in London’s O2. They had a mini-reunion, and apparently Liam went to watch Harry’s set and cheered him on. But as far as I can tell, I don’t think Harry watched Liam’s. I don’t want to invent drama here, but I think it’s pretty clear who the winning party is right?
Attached - Liam Payne at Jingle Bell Ball in London the other night.