I was a huge One Direction fan back in high school and I still listen to their music sometimes. Not often, but sometimes. When it comes to the members’ solo careers, I only pay attention to Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. Styles has been a hit or miss with me; I hated Fine Line (2019), but I’m curious about what Harry’s House (2022) sounds like. Tomlinson, on the other hand, has never disappointed me.
I loved the singles he’s released and his debut studio album, Walls (2020). Styles used to be my favorite member of One Direction until 2013-2014. That’s when Tomlinson became my new favorite member of the group. Back then, it was probably because I thought he was hot. Now, however, I can connect with him on a personal level. We both struggle with confidence and low self-esteem.
In an interview with The Guardian that was published in late June 2017, Tomlinson said that during his time with One Direction, he was seen as “forgettable, to a certain degree,” by some people. In fact, he never sang a single solo during his time on The X Factor UK, the article continued. Throughout most of One Direction’s career, Tomlinson had very little confidence in himself. But, ironically enough, he felt the most confident during the band’s last year together, the article continued.
Flash forward to 2022, where Tomlinson has performed in front of millions of people for his world tour, which was postponed because of COVID-19. With that and the success of Walls (2020), things are looking promising for the Doncaster lad.
On August 31, 2022, Tomlinson announced that his second studio album, Faith in the Future would be released on November 11. The next day, September 1, he released the album’s first single, “Bigger Than Me.” The day after that, September 2, Tomlinson released the music video for the song. It was one announcement after another. I knew that he was working on a follow-up to Walls (2020) and was hoping that he would release it soon, but I did not see this coming!
Of course, I am pumped for Tomlinson’s new album because I loved his first studio album. Also, I find his lyrics relatable, which is always a plus for me. How is the new song? It’s a really good pop song! The first two lines in the song hit me like a ton of bricks:
“When somebody told me I would change / I used to hide behind a smile.”
Change can be scary, so I can see where Tomlinson was coming from. But also, I know what it’s like to hide behind a smile to cover up pain. I have lots of experience with that, especially from high school.
The lyrics are repetitive, but that makes them easier to get in the listener’s head. The chorus isn’t all complicated either. It basically repeats “it’s bigger than me” for the most part. However, the song is not plain simple; it’s deeper than that!
According to Auralcrave, “Bigger Than Me” is a coming of age song about how people change as life goes on.
“I’ve always strived to be a very normal, humble person in this life, but there’s a line to that and a responsibility that comes from being in this position. I realized from doing those live shows what it means to my fans and how everything I do is bigger than me,” the article quoted from Tomlinson.
My favorite lyrics from the song are sung in the second verse:
“So, come on, call me ‘Liar’ / Yeah, you’re so quick to judge / ‘Cause yeah, I might have changed / But everybody does.”
The reason is because I miss how carefree and silly Tomlinson was during his first two years with One Direction (2010-2012). I see how Tomlinson is now versus how he was back then, and see two completely different people. Part of me wonders what happened. Was it the fame that got to him? Or was it the management behind the scenes that got to him? Or am I making assumptions because I don’t know the full story?
It’s not like I expect Tomlinson to bring back his signature “stop the traffic and let them through” dance, but I wish there was a way to combine those two guys together. The serious and silly guy. But then, I heard those lines in the song and thought to myself, “wow, I never gave the present Louis a chance.” I mean, I saw how he was as a judge on The X Factor UK in 2018. But, I haven’t been watching current interviews or live performances of his because I still long for the young and innocent Louis he once was. Like the lyrics go, I was quick to judge him and I now realize how wrong I was to do that!
Do I still miss the silly Louis from the early days of One Direction? Yes, but I’m not going to get mad over that anymore because people change and that’s life.
Now, let’s talk about the music video! The music video is visually stunning. Tomlinson is walking through the outdoors with the sun setting behind him, collecting wood along the way. When the sky is dark, he throws the wood in the bonfire, indicating his self-acceptance for who he is. I love how simple the video is because it’s a powerful song that doesn’t need an extravagant music video to tell a story. It reminds me of Tomlinson’s music video for “Walls,” which was shot in a desert.
There you have it, people! Those are my thoughts on Tomlinson releasing his Faith in the Future album in November and his latest single from it. Tomlinson has been working on the album since lockdown, so I’m very excited to see what he has in store for us.
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