It’s no secret that the reaction to Liam Payne’s solo career has been a little underwhelming. Compared to his ex-bandmates Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Zayn who are topping the charts in their own right, Liam has been a little left behind. His awkward debut single ‘Strip That Down’ received decent traction but his releases since have flown under the radar. Even his collaboration ‘Get Low’ with Zedd failed to make the impact that was expected. So instead of releasing his debut album he’s decided to drop an EP to try create a little more momentum. Sadly ‘First Time’ is as unimpressive as his previous material. Title track ‘First Time’ hears him trying to continue the latin groove that ‘Familiar’ introduced but just like it’s preceder, it flops. He has this uncomfortable hip-hop fusion mixed in that sounds forced and is only incorporated to try keep him relevant. ‘Home With You’ and ‘Slow’ are a little more seductive but he ruins them by adding in over-produced beats that are totally unnecessary.
I have always imagined Liam Payne to have a sound similar to Justin Timberlake because the fact of the matter is that the boy can sing. So instead of trying to be someone he’s not to get chart traction he should just take his own advice and strip it down. ‘Depend On It’ is the EP’s strongest track because of it’s humble approach. If he was just a little more genuine, honest and raw I think people would start connecting with him. But at the moment it’s hard to vibe with his sound when it’s coming across a little fake. After all he’s a father, fell in love and had his heart broken so something a little more genuine and heartfelt should come easier than this uncomfortable media ploy we are receiving instead.