The latest album release from Louis Tomlinson “Faith In The Future” sees the former One Direction member now solo artist attempt to deliver an anthemic and optimism-inspired tour de force. However, without the boldness or soul behind it needed, inevitably “Faith In The Future” feels more like an empty shell of a record.  

The last album release from Tomlinson titled “Walls” was knocked by critics, and rightfully so, for being bland and unforgivably derivative. Whilst he attempted to tackle some dark and sombre topics, unfortunately the passion and poignant delivery was far too severely lacking for any of the themes of the album to be taken seriously. You would think that after the tidal wave of critiques in this regard Tomlinson would deliver something of something of more emotional substance. Regrettably, “Faith In The Future” serves the listener the same old flavourless and stale soft Brit-pop.  

With many of the tracks on “Faith In The Future” such as the opener “The Greatest” or the following “Bigger Than Me” seem to be attempting to reach the heights of that of Sam Fender’s ragingly heartfelt “Seventeen Going Under” with their striving towards the anthemic. However, with the lazy guitar and almost nauseatingly cliché string sections these songs end up much more lethargy inducing than they do exhilarating. Worst of all are the half-hearted, heavily autotuned vocals from Liam which often get completely overshadowed by the decent and somewhat spirited drumming that occurs on both of the tracks. On the song “Face The Music” which is the most instrumentally lively track off the album the crashing drums and exploding yet directionless guitars drown out Tomlinson’s pale vocals. You can almost hear him being crushed under the weight of his own backing track. 

Failing at creating a riveting atmosphere, on “Faith In The Future” the more solemn tracks lack the same heart as seemingly all Tomlinson’s musical endeavours. With mawkish and often shamelessly self-absorbed lyrics that are difficult to not cringe at such as “I saw you had a baby/did you use any of the names we liked” on “Chicago” or “somebodies got your trainers on/the ones that you wore/but you’re not here anymore” on the tired and repetitive “Saturdays” these tracks miserably fail to evoke the strong emotions they masquerade as being fuelled by. There’s something almost sterile about the tracks on this album that makes even its most meaningful moments feel hollow.  

A third core issue with “Faith In The Future” is that Tomlinson doesn’t seem to have found his own defined sound yet. With quite a few numbers off the record such as “Out Of My System” and particularly “Headline” sound like such a rip off of Arctic Monkeys it is comically blatant. Overall, there is no demonstration on the album that Tomlinson has found his own singular and recognisable style yet and it seems as if as a solo artist he is still finding his feet with much of the album sounding quite all over the place or as if Tomlinson is dipping in and out of various influences without bringing much of himself to the table. Without this, the result is almost as if he is still in a boyband but none of the other members decided to show up to the recording session rather than that of an independent artist.  

Although there are moments of progression from his past work much of “Faith In The Future” is difficult to connect to and sounds tiresomely overly familiar. This is not helped by the length of the album, almost an hour long, in which was slightly painful to sit through with so many completely forgettable moments compiled together. Still not having a defining sound a certain charm to his music, Tomlinson’s latest project inevitably fades into the background of the extensive catalogue of soft Brit-pop releases from its own lack of remarkability.