Liam Payne’s “Strip That Down” Misses The Mark

Liam Payne is the last One Direction member to go solo (I would argue that Louis Tomlinson’s club feature doesn’t really count), but “Strip That Down” is the least impressive debut. Like Camila Cabello’s “Crying In The Club,” the Brit is suffering an identity crisis. “You know I been taking some time and I been keeping to myself, I had my eyes up on the prize ain’t watching anyone else,” he sings over a plodding beat, before dropping this clanger: “You know I used to be in 1D, now I’m free. People want me for one thing, that’s not me.”

The chorus is perfectly acceptable, in a generic kind of way. “Put your hands on my body and swing that round for me,” Liam croons. “You know, I love it when the music stop but come on strip that down for me.” As for Quavo? Well, his talent is wasted here. It’s catchy enough and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it’s a hit, but does anyone really buy the affable 23-year-old as a womanizing hip-hop artist? He simply hasn’t really discovered his sound yet — a feat that Zayn Malik (R&B), Harry Styles (retro rock) and Niall Horan (folky pop) seemingly managed with ease. Hopefully, there’s better to come on his debut LP.

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