Since the hiatus of One Direction in 2015, all of the five original members have released solo music, and all besides Louis Tomlinson had released full length albums, and Louis joined those ranks on January 31 with the release of Walls. This 12 song album pairs unheard originals with some previously released singles in a seamless blend of storytelling. All of the songs were head written by Tomlinson and he succeeds brilliantly in drawing the listener in to each song with his lyrical genius.
The album features “Don’t Let it Break Your Heart,” that has a pop feel, and shares the message that even when bad things happen, you have to persevere and push through. This is a perfect segue into the third track, “Two of Us.” The third song is a ballad fueled by pure emotion. Written in 2019, two years after the death of Johannah, Louis’ mother, from leukemia, the power in Louis’ voice mixed with the powerful lyrics creates a gut wrenching, beautiful song. Each of the songs has their own story, and their own style. Throughout the album, beautifully poetic lyrics are present in every song, and each listen will bring out something new in each song.
Overall, Walls is a brilliant piece of art, that is unlike anything else. The songs all have soaring choruses, and new vibrant melodies. It goes from the upbeat rock of “Kill My Mind” to the powerful calm of “Habit,” and then back to the upbeat tone of “Defenceless,” and Louis makes the transition seamlessly. This album is a triumph, really bringing the deep emotion of stories, told through perfectly crafted lyrics sung with the raw power of Louis’ voice. Listening to Walls is an unregrettable 40 minutes. Hearing Louis come out with his own sound after years of being in the band is really refreshing, and this album is truly a wonderful addition to his discography.
By Eliana Sauer