‘Walls’ album review: Louis Tomlinson’s first solo record is a mixed bag

While the first album from the former One Direction star shows promise, it sounds like he's still trying to find his identity

Chris Gillett |

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First, Liam Payne dropped his lacklustre LP1, then Harry Styles released his thumping second album, Fine Line. shortly after. A few weeks on, and it’s fellow former One Directioner Louis Tomlinson’s turn to go solo as the 28-year-old unveils his debut album Walls – and it’s a tale of two halves.

On one hand are the kind of songs you’d expect from a former 1D star. In tracks Don’t Let It Break Your Heart and Defenceless, simple, plucked electric guitar parts play under lyrics about the turmoil of a relationship.

 

 

The piano-led Two Of Us and Fearless are the strongest; his voice is poignant, and the former offers the beautiful passage, “So all of this is all for you/I swear to God you’re living through everything I ever do,” before belting out a huge chorus.

Then there’s another side to Walls, where Tomlinson wants to be something that just isn’t him. In songs such as Kill My Mind, and Only The Brave, he tries so hard to write and sing like Oasis. He even ropes in Oasis member Noel Gallagher for the title track, but it’s very watered-down compared to the 90s legends.

Tomlinson shows signs of promise, but after almost a decade in the biz, he’s still trying to find his own identity.