I wrote a post a while back about Harry Styles’ debut album, and since then I’ve also had a lot of similarly in-depth thoughts about the rest of the 1D gang and their respective releases. I thought what I would do today is rate each member’s solo career, with a bit of (probably irrelevant and misinformed) criticism. Before we begin, I’d like to clarify that I did used to be a big One Direction fan, and I do have respect for each member trying to make their own way (although it can’t be hard when you have a fandom approximately the size of the population of Mexico). So let’s go- number 1 will be my most highly rated, down to 5.
1. HARRY STYLES
This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone who read my Harry Styles review, but I am a big fan of his new material. I think he’s been the most experimental, which I certainly admire- and his music is actually quite complex, rather than the kind of empty pop you might have expected from him. His music provokes emotion- it feels honest, which is really interesting for anyone who was a fan of him in the 1D days.
2. NIALL HORAN
Niall comes second on my list, because his music comes across genuine to me. ‘Slow Hands’, while decidedly folky, is incredibly catchy, and it definitely feels true to the style he always maintained during his stint in 1D. While it’s exactly the kind of material I would have expected from him, he does it very well- there’s no pretence or insincerity, and he manages to keep it relevant by including some well-placed electronica.
3. ZAYN MALIK
Now, while Zayn’s music is definitely not my style, even I can see that it’s high quality for his chosen genre. I was sceptical when he left 1D, and I admittedly didn’t listen to his album with the greatest attention. However, the singles he’s released haven’t yet failed to be huge hits. You have to admit he’s been successful, and I reckon it’s for the right reasons- he always had a fantastic voice, and I can admire the fact that he’s taken the path he always wanted 1D to follow.
4. LIAM PAYNE
We’ve reached the point in the list where I would class myself as ‘not a fan’. Liam’s single, ‘Strip That Down’, is definitely not something I would rate highly. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I find it, frankly, ridiculous- he sounds like a Zayn Malik wannabe, which is more than slightly uncomfortable. The only reason I’ve put it at number 4 rather than 5 is that it’s somehow, miraculously, managed to stay in the UK top ten for far too long. There’s at least that, I suppose.
5. LOUIS TOMLINSON
I hate to put Louis last on the list, because I think he’s tried as hard as all the others- the poor lad just hasn’t had his break. His single, ‘Just Hold On’, did quite well in the charts, but it sadly didn’t do it for me- it sounded a little hollow, and it had little-to-no personality to set him apart with. Since then, he’s been fairly quiet, but I’m holding out hope that he’ll pull through and make material that’ll garner him respect. He’s described himself as the ‘forgettable’ member of the group, a statement which will, ironically, get him more attention. Good luck to him.
I promise I’m not a savage- I have full respect for every member, but even the most dedicated fans have to admit that not every member has managed to establish themselves in the best possible position (*cough* Liam). Thank you for reading, and if you have thoughts to share about their music, do leave a comment and let me know whether you agree!