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It’s hard to keep up with all of the new music coming from the One Direction dudes these days, between the drop of Harry Styles’s self-titled debut album and Niall Horan easing into his new stuff.
Liam Payne just delivered the latest single of the new crop, and it’s going down a decidedly more electro-pop/R&B road than what we’ve heard from the rest of the lads this year.
“Strip That Down” — which features Quavo of Migos and was cowritten by Ed Sheeran — is catchy as hell, and in a familiar way, too. It’s the kind of dance floor– and radio-ready smash-in-the-making that recalls hooks and rhythm structures of songs we’ve loved for years, and “Strip That Down” checks a bunch of likable boxes in the process.
Flashes of it feel reminiscent of Usher, Ludacris, and Lil Jon’s “Yeah!” The pattern of its wordplay isn’t unlike “It Wasn’t Me.” The “Hey!”s could throw to half of the stuff you couldn’t stop blasting in the ’90s, and Payne’s vocal performance has shades of Justin Bieber to it.
In short, coming up with a list of songs this sounds like almost distracted us from his blatant 1D dis: “You know, I used to be in 1D (now I’m out, free) / People want me for one thing (that’s not me).” K.
It all adds up to a tune that isn’t especially original — but isn’t something we’d throw off a playlist, either. Looking forward to a longer look at the visual, as this lyric video is great and all, but the teaser was eye-catching, to say the least. Bring it on, Payne!