After the tragic announcement that British boy band One Direction was splitting for good in 2016, the world was left wondering, what now? As a 1D fan, the break-up was almost too much to bear following Zayn Malik’s exit and
fake news of an “extended hiatus” back in 2015. Luckily, lovers of Malik, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan didn’t have to wait long for the heartthrobs to be back on the scene, as all of them have since released solo projects.
Although the boys are now creating music—and babies—outside of One Direction, some are doing better than others. From outright crap to incredible art, I’ve taken the liberty and ranked the solo work of the 1D boys, from worst to best. You’re welcome.
5. Liam Payne, “Strip That Down”
The most exciting thing 23-year-old Payne has done since 1D split was have a baby with 34-year-old pop singer Cheryl Cole and give said baby a ridiculous name. Payne’s solo work sounds like any other crappy pop, IMO, with his debut track “Strip That Down” being the worst. In the song’s first verse, Payne basically recites his Wikipedia page: “You know, I used to be in 1D (now I’m out, free)/People want me for one thing (that’s not me)/I’m not changing, the way, that I (used to be).” *Rolling eyes emoji*
The video is also a huge yawn, as Payne looks painfully bored as he sings sans expression and occasionally walks around and points at the camera. Let’s hope 1D gets back together for Payne’s sake.
4. Louis Tomlinson, “Back to You”
Tomlinson recently revealed that he felt like the “forgotten” member of One Direction, so he will be relieved to know I think his solo work is more memorable than his time in the band. Tomlinson just dropped his track, “Back to You” a collab with American singer Bebe Rexha and British DJ/producer Digital Farm Animals, and TBH, for a dude whose voice was rarely heard, it isn’t half bad. Plus, the 25-year-old looks p. cute in the song’s vid wearing a multi-coloured windbreaker.
3. Niall Horan, “Slow Hands”
While Horan was the last 1D member whose “slow hands” I would ever want near my womanly bod, the 23-year-old has surprisingly matured—and grown into his highlighted hair—and released a pretty good second single. Following his romantic debut, “This Town,” the music vid for “Slow Hands” shows a happy Horan jamming out in the studio and laughing with friends, making him as likeable as his—albeit cheesy—pop ballads.
2. Zayn Malik, “Still Got Time”
K, if you didn’t feel sexy while listening to “Pillow Talk,” check your pulse to see if you still got time (see what I did there?). Malik’s second single, “Still Got Time Ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR,” makes you feel like you need to immediately move to L.A. and hang out with the offspring of ’70s rock stars. If you can look past the try-hard music vid where youth are smoking, getting tattoos and fondling each other at a party, the track is super catchy. I also kind of love the fact that 24-year-old Malik offers no explanation for his pet monkey. Is that weird?
1. Harry Styles, “Sign of the Times”
DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON HOW INCREDIBLE THIS SONG IS. It’s no secret Styles was the fan favourite of 1D, but “Sign of the Times” legit puts him on another level. While the internet was quick to mock the music video where a dapper Styles flies over Scotland, I chalk it up to a lack of understanding his creative genius. “Sign of the Times”—and many other tracks off his self-titled rock ‘n’ roll-inspired record like, “Sweet Creature” and “Woman”—prove that 23-year-old Styles was too talented for 1D all along.
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