Liam Payne’s new song isn’t up to par

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As the international boy band phenomenon One Direction rose to fame, some of the boys became more popular than others, causing girls’ hearts to melt into a puddle in their shoes. Personally, just seeing a picture of Harry Styles has always resulted in me swooning, but one band member had always caught my eye by his unparalleled voice range.  

Liam Payne—the most moderately fawned over during his One Direction days—was the father figure of the group. 

As much as he was a goofball—always informing their fanbase of his unique fear of spoons or becoming Leroy to teach the boys choreography for their upcoming big movie—he was the most responsible of the group. He was the one Simon Cowell would turn to when it came to settling the boys down. 

Sadly, beneath the happy-go-lucky demeanor, Payne suffered from depression. All of the responsibilities placed upon his young shoulders seemed to take their toll. 

After their infamous hiatus, Payne’s mental health has inclined, and he can be seen as his smiley self all over social media. 

Having arguably the most mesmerizing pipes of the group, Payne has released a wide variety of music, and he has co-written many of his songs, during his One Direction days, with Louis Tomlinson. Payne had written classics like “History” and “Steal My Girl” that were quick to become hits on the radio. After the break-up of the band, Payne released an album, LP1, in 2019 and had received mixed reviews. 

Most recently, however, he has become active on TikTok—a social media platform that uses videos as a form of creativity—collaborating with many creators who have taken the app by storm, including Tom Felton and Dixie D’Amelio. 

A little over two weeks ago, Payne dropped a new Christmas single, “Naughty List”, featuring D’Amelio. 

The only question: is it worth the listen? 

The song begins how nearly every Christmas song begins, particularly when focused on the consumer aspect to the holiday season: jingle bells and church bells. However, Payne puts a modern aspect to the introduction that continues throughout the song with subtle vibrations as well as a few hums and vocals. 

Although the song is supposed to bring along vibes of Christmas, the track paints a picture of a rainy day in March. Snowbanks stiff with mud creeping in all of the crevices that are in contact with the ground. The once-powdery snow sticks together and becomes gray slush after mingling with dirt and being mixed beneath car tires. 

I doubt that is the vibe that Payne was going for. 

Honestly, I have more of a negative feeling toward the song than positive. I cannot understand why he would choose D’Amelio to be featured in the track alongside him, other than the fact that he needed more publicity. It is a smart tactic, teaming up with the eighth most popular TikTok creator to increase streams of his song, but D’Amelio decreases the quality of the song. 

Her only verse to sing is just repeating Payne’s first verse; however, the lyrics shift to be in her perspective. She brings no variety to the song whatsoever, and is simply there so his song will gain popularity. By having her in the song with him, she increases the possibility that her many followers on TikTok would go listen to a song featuring her. Besides, this song only displays Payne’s impressive vocal range. Many D’Amelio fans claim that the impressive, high vocals towards the end of the song were D’Amelio’s, but anyone who knows Payne’s set of pipes knows that it was him. 

Personally, I don’t think that it is worth the listen, even though I love Payne. This is not his best song, and, for example, some people like me, were even more uninterested when he featured someone like D’Amelio.