Liam Payne, Strip That Down - single review
"You know I used to be in 1D, now I'm free."
Liam Payne is pulling no punches on his first solo single, Strip That Down.
The track, which was given its first play on Radio 1 this morning, references his new found love with Cheryl Cole and the break-up of the world's biggest boy band and could yet be the song of the summer.
To my ears, it is a lot better than anything One Direction ever did.
It is a lot more danceable, incredibly fun to listen to and I can't imagine that it will become annoying with the huge radio play it will no doubt receive.
The song, which features Migos frontman Quavo, was co-written with Ed Sheeran and its similarity to the Divide singer's hit Shape Of You may see Wolverhampton born Liam come in for some stick.
However, it feels like the perfect time to drop a song like Strip That Down, which will sound equally as great in nightclubs across the country as it will in the background at BBQs throughout the summer.
Another similarity, and one which Liam would do well to use as a benchmark going forward, is the vocal style of Justin Timberlake.
When the song's chorus comes in, Liam's vocal doubles up and his high pitched harmony does bring back memories of 2002's Justified album, when the former NSYNC frontman really separated himself from the pack and became his own man.
So will Liam follow suit?
He has certainly played it smart by releasing an upbeat, club friendly single first of all.
It is clear that post break-up the whole band are trying to reach out for a sound that gives them more credibility in music circles, however, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to release a soft-rock ballad like Harry Styles' Sign Of The Times.
Liam's debut will connect with modern audience's because it sounds like it was made in 2017, not 1997.
It is the type of song that a 23 year old with the world at his feet should be releasing, after all, what has he got to complain about?
At one point, he sings about loving the cards he has been dealt in life and if he carries on like this, things could get a whole lot better for the Wolverhampton boy who would have been most people's favourite to crash and burn after the One Direction break up.
Am dram stars of the week: Harry Simkin, from Great Wyrley, and Fiona Winning, from Tettenhall, in South Staffs Musical Theatre Company’s production of Top Hat at the Wolverhampton Grand