One Direction’s Liam Payne dropped his debut album LP1 earlier this month and the verdict is in: despite a heavy promotional campaign, the album is somewhere between a bomb and a dud.
Not only did LP1 fail to hit the UK top 10, which is pretty crazy considering that just a few years ago Payne was one of the biggest pop stars in the country, but it only reached #111 on the US Billboard charts. It has also received mixed reviews by the few critics who have bothered to write anything about it.
Much of this could be due to the blowback Payne received for the album’s tenth track, “Both Ways,” which details a sexual encounter with a man and two women.
Upon hearing the song, many fans accused the singer of perpetuating passé stereotypes often attached bisexual people, particularly bisexual women. Soon, the hashtag #liampayneisoverparty began trending on Twitter. And Payne struggled to mitigate the fallout.
In an interview with BBC, he said “Both Ways” was about being open-minded in the “world of ‘love is love’.”
“People [are] becoming much more understanding about the way love is,” he said. “And rightly so.” He then added that, while many people are becoming more open-minded about sex, he’s never actually had a threesome before, but “it was an interesting song to write.”
Meanwhile, Payne’s former One Direction bandmate, Harry Styles, also released an album this month, which topped the charts. After Styles’ sophomore album Fine Line recently reached #1 on the Billboard 200, selling over 400,000 copies and amassing nearly 110 million streams, Payne kept things classy by taking to Instagram to congratulate him.
“Massive congrats H, on becoming the first UK Male artist to debut at No. 1 with your first two albums!” he wrote. “What an achievement, you must be over the moon.”
People declared the #liampayneisoverparty and it looks like he might actually be over… for now. Good thing everyone loves a comeback.