By Kate Connor (she/they)
Louis Tomlinson’s second solo album, Faith In The Future was released Friday 11 November, the follow-up to his 2020 debut, Walls.
Tomlinson’s success has been mounting slowly, a quiet rumble in the background of earlier releases from his ex-bandmates. The album comprises 14 tracks, featuring hit singles ‘Bigger Than Me’, ‘Out Of My System’ and ‘Silver Tongues’.
Faith In The Future is a more mature, confident sound from Tomlinson. With the recent success of his world tour, (his first solo tour!), it was no surprise that his new release has garnered the attention it has. His sound has progressed nicely since Walls; the mellow guitar strings replaced by rocky basslines and impressive riffs.
The change in genre between Walls and Faith In The Future did not come as a complete shock to fans. During his performance at Away From Home Festival in August 2021, Tomlinson performed ‘Copy of A Copy‘ and ‘Change‘, having debuted the tracks on a lockdown live stream, teasing the crowd with a hint of the new Tomlinson sound. Neither song made the final cut for the album though, much to the frustration of his fans. However, along with ‘High in California’, the two songs were added to a special download edition of the album.
His Arctic Monkeys influence, who Tomlinson has spoken about being a fan of, is obvious in the instrumentals in ‘Out Of My System’. The whole album, according to some fans, has echoes of later One Direction songs – which is no surprise due to Tomlinson’s songwriting contributions in Midnight Memories through to Made in The AM. Other influences such as Oasis and other late 90s/early 2000s British bands have clearly attributed to Tomlinson’s step away from Pop and into Britpop.
Tomlinson really shows off his dulcet vocals in more ballad-style songs like ‘Angels Fly’ and ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’. These songs, in particular, are evidence of the range Tomlinson can perform; he can do both up-tempo and slower songs, within the same album.
One thing that is made clear through anything Tomlinson does is his support for those around him, fans and family alike. His constant tweets ‘checking in’ with his fans during the COVID lockdowns became a solace for many people and many of his songs feature comforting and supportive lyrics from songs such as ‘Just Hold On’, ‘Perfect Now’ and ‘Angels Fly’ among others.
Another thing that fans connect to a lot through Tomlinson is his acknowledgement of his background, and support for those less well-off. His song ‘Common People’ talks about his hometown of Doncaster, and he never forgets to be grateful for the opportunities he has been given.
As a way to give back to his fans, Tomlinson’s ticket and merchandise prices remain affordable. Even for his upcoming tour, where he will be performing in Glasgow’s OVO Hydro, tickets were well below that of other artists, at roughly £45-50 for standing tickets.
Faith In The Future recently also reached No.1 in the Official Charts, having competed with Bruce Springsteen for the top spot. Tomlinson showed off his award, and his arm cast, with a smile in a video posted to Instagram. This new chart success will hopefully bring Tomlinson’s music to the public forefront and help him to gain recognition for his music after such a long time backstage.
Faith In The Future was released on 11 November 2022 on BMG Records, check it out here.
Third year English and Creative Writing Student.