We Ranked One Direction's Solo Efforts

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5. Liam Payne "Strip That Down"

Oof. This one’s a real clanger. The song was written with Ed Sheeran, who seems to be fast running out of his trademark whimsy and whose current level of fame outweighs his actual talent. It features rap by Quavo, who does very little to redeem the song. The whole track sounds like a garish identity crisis for Payne, who seems to have released it purely to notify his young fans that he is an adult man who engages in sexual intercourse. Apparently, he enjoys it when women “grind”, “hit the ground”, “swing that round” and “strip that down”. Obviously, Payne feels liberated now that he doesn’t have to maintain a peppy 1D image and he’d like to send the world an aggressively heterosexual memo that he’s a beast on the dance floor. Which is odd, considering he’s in a monogamous relationship/ possible secret marriage with Cheryl Tweedy, and he just became a father. A classic acoustic Sheeran ballad would have made more sense with his extremely public personal life but Payne wanted to get back to his, ah, R&B roots. Payne has since said he “nearly didn’t go solo”. Perhaps that would have been for the best.

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