LP1 will make a lot of money — and if the lyrics of these tracks are any indication, that’s all he cares about
Liam Payne, LP1 ★★
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 as drivel.
An easy target, then, so there’s a temptation to take a counter-intuitive 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 this half is the more enjoyable. The cuts range from the epic, cinematic “For You” with Rita Ora (from the third Fifty Shades film) to 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 in the mix and the album closes with sappy new seasonal crooner “All I Want (For Christmas)”.
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The lyrics mostly concern love and sex, of course, and the first half’s new tracks blur into one long mash of 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” fail to charm.
The Ed Sheeran co-write and album opener, “Stack It Up” 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 seems to matter to Payne. THEARTSDESK.COM