Music Critic Catalina Perez reviews Louis Tomlinson’s latest album, describing it as enjoyable yet limited and lacking in innovation

Written by Catalina Pérez
I am an exchange student in the University of Birmingham. My native language is spanish, since I am chilean, and I study journalism.

Faith in the Future is the second album of singer, songwriter and former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson. An enjoyable, yet familiar and safe amalgamation of pop tunes, this project fails to innovate or bring something new to the current musical landscape.

As opposed to Tomlinson’s first album Walls, that stayed strictly in the pop genre, Faith in the Future draws inspiration from styles ranging from Britpop, pop rock and even a bit of emo and punk, especially in songs like ‘The Greatest’ or ‘Face the Music’. It explores the familiar themes of letting go of a loved one, fighting with a partner, and adoration for a significant other, but also improves upon aspects like the vocal performance, and the diversity of instruments, making it a rightful evolution of the artist’s sound.

In terms of songwriting, Tomlinson avoids taking big risks by sticking with a safe language and casual subjects. However, there are some note-worthy exceptions, like the lead single of the album, ‘Bigger than Me’, that explores the concept of self-doubt and insecurity, and ‘That’s the Way Love Goes’, a refreshing ballad that highlights healthy male to male friendships.

Faith in the Future draws inspiration from styles ranging from Britpop, pop rock and even a bit of emo and punk…

However, there is no real development on the numerous influences that it references, they seem like an add-on to the traditional pop formula, and that makes the album seem outdated. In fact, it is likely that the audience that will most enjoy Faith in the Future will be the remaining One Direction fanbase that has stayed loyal since 2010. The musical and lyrical themes are reminiscent of the band’s brightest moments, with a bit of extra edge.

There are not any significant mood shifts in the album. The songs sort of blend together and there is not enough diversity or risk-taking to make it a memorable body of work.

It has some shining moments. As previously stated, the single ‘Bigger than Me’ is a powerful anthem, fitting to blast in a car during a road trip. ‘Out of my System’ is a bold, guitar-driven rock song that could be played in a Maneskin concert. And ‘Silver Tongues’ is an energetic and nostalgic party tune with an exceptional and refreshing piano accompaniment.

But since the album does not commit to any of these fresh directions, the ventures end up falling flat, or not being enough, and one is left wanting for more

Faith in the Future is an enjoyable and entertaining experience that sadly does not reach its full potential. Tomlinson has proven that he is an accomplished composer and songwriter but by staying in the comfort-zone of the 2010’s pop formula, he misses opportunities to fully exploit his talent and the possibilities of other genres.

Rating: 4/10

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