Liam Payne: LP1 review – genre-ticking anonymity | Music


Finding your identity as a solo artist after handing your teenage years over to a pop band can be notoriously tricky. Liam Payne, One Direction’s erstwhile resident safe pair of hands, seems to have settled on a curious, Unilad-sponsored approximation of Ed Sheeran (who co-writes two songs here) and Drake, eschewing his Wolverhampton roots to become Miami’s least convincing playboy. On the abysmal Rude Hours, one of a handful of generic trap bops, he coos: “Meet me in the parking lot… might be a bad idea I’ll probably do your ass in the car”, while Weekend and Both Ways, the latter about a threesome, are as boring as they are eye-rolling.

There are hints at a beating heart behind the bravado on Remember and the lilting synthpop of Say It All, while 2018’s OTT Rita Ora collaboration For You – chucked on to the album’s second half alongside six other singles previously without a home – at least injects some drama into proceedings. But, spread over 17 songs that tick off genres with all the flair of an automated Spotify playlist, Payne’s anonymity remains the album’s default through line. Occasionally painful yet weirdly Payne-less.

Watch the video for Live Forever by Liam Payne.



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