After almost four years of releasing singles and trying to find his individual sound, Louis Tomlinson’s much-anticipated debut solo album, Walls, has finally arrived. Following the announcement of their hiatus in 2015, Tomlinson is the last One Direction boy to release a full-length album. And it was well worth the wait.
The album kicks off with a classic, edgy, pop-rock tune, “Kill My Mind.” This fun hit, with its upbeat rhythm and chant-worthy bridge, serves as the perfect introduction. Next up is another pre-released song, “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart.” This slow heartbreak anthem doesn’t lose sight of hope in dark times. It seems personal, potentially serving as a reminder to himself just as much as it is to his fans that breakups suck but ultimately you will come out of the other side okay.
The third song, “Two of Us,” is a real tear-jerker. Released back in March, this melancholic piano ballad is the most emotional song on the album. Tomlinson wrote this song about his late mother, Johannah, who passed away from cancer in Dec. 2016. As the oldest child and only son, he held a very tight bond with her. The song ends with Tomlinson crooning the lyrics “We’ll end just like we started/Just you and me and no one else/I will hold you where my heart is/One life for the two of us” sung over soft piano keys, to give you an idea of just how much it will pull at your heartstrings.
It’s hard to follow up such a personal song, but “We Made It” was the perfect choice. Tomlinson actually wrote this one before One Direction went on their indefinite hiatus. In this nostalgic tune, he opens up about the pressures from the band and the industry, as well as his insecurities about the kind of music they made, something he still struggles with as a solo artist.
The fifth track, “Too Young,” is the first song on the album that was not pre-released as a single. The slow acoustic tune follows the ups and downs of a young love, serving major the-one-that-got-away vibes. Next up, right in the middle of the album, is the title track “Walls.” The lyrics reveal just how strong Tomlinson’s been in the face of all the hardships he’s undergone in the last few years. Did you catch the One Direction reference in the video?
At first glance, “Habit” seems like a solid tune about a back-and-forth relationship. Tomlinson himself, however, said the inspiration behind this one was actually his love/hate relationship with his job and music with the band. He even references Princess Park, the complex the band used to live in together in the early days.
After listening to “Always You,” the eighth song on the album, it is completely understandable why it trended on Twitter for hours. The pop hit, with the quick guitar chords and fast-paced lyrics, sounds like a more mature One Direction tune with a Louis-twist. This one serves as the perfect let’s-drive-with-the-windows-down bop.
“Fearless” serves as a nod to that feeling of invincibility you can only get from youth. Complete with the sounds of kids playing on a playground at the beginning and end of the song, this is the perfect tune for those fans that are no longer young but still hold that fire in them. The next track, “Perfect Now,” is a sweet reminder that people are all perfect in their own way despite their insecurities. In the words of Louis, “I guess some queens don’t need a crown.” “Defenceless” turned into an instant fan-favorite when Tomlinson played it at a recent concert in Madrid. It perfectly describes that feeling of a push-and-pull relationship that you just can’t escape.
Courtesy: Rolling Stone
The last track on the album, “Only the Brave,” falls just under two minutes and is the perfect anthem to close up Walls. Despite the short length, it somehow seems to touch on every subject mentioned throughout the entire album.
“It’s a solo song, and it’s only for the brave.”