Liam Payne launches solo career with ‘Strip That Down’
Liam Payne is the last of the One Direction boys to kick of his solo career. After Zayn Malik left the band and started a career in R&B, the other four continued at first, but then decided to all go seperate ways. For Niall Horan this meant singer-songwriter pop with the singles ‘This Town’ and ‘Slow Hands’ as a result, while Louis Tomlinson worked with Steve Aoki on a dance single. Harry Styles launched his rock inspired debut album last week. In the meantime, Liam became a father, but he is now ready to focus on the music again. He just dropped his debut single ‘Strip That Down’, featuring raps from Quavo.
It seems that Liam is moving into the direction of poppy R&B, with a light club song about having his eyes on a girl. Vocally he sounds on point, but he seems to channel his inner Justin Timberlake a bit much. To be fair, ‘Strip That Down’ could easily have been a Justin Timberlake album track back in 2004, which means it isn’t awfully contemporary or original. The chorus is servicable although it could have done with a bit more of an explosion in the production. Lyrically however, ‘Strip That Down’ is simply cringeworthy. It was co-written by Ed Sheeran and Steven Mac, but that doesn’t make lines like “You know I used to be in 1D, people want me for one thing, thats not me, I’m not changing the way that I used to be, I just wanna have fun and get rowdy” any better. And then I’m not even talking about the rhyming of bacardi and party yet. This might become a hit as the One Direction fan base is still very much active, but if this was the debut by an actual new artist it would not have gotten anywhere. Well, unless we are talking about at least 10 years ago maybe.