Louis Tomlinson, ‘Back to You’ | Track Review
Louis Tomlinson becomes the fifth member of One Direction to drop a debut single. He’s assisted by Bebe Rexha & Digital Farm Animals on “Back to You.”
It was only a matter of time before all former One Direction members dropped solo tracks. Zayn arrived first with the sexual “Pillowtalk” in 2016. Next came Niall Horan with the acoustic singer/songwriter cut, “This Town.” Harry Styles would follow with the rousing “Sign of the Times.” Liam Payne dropped the sexy, but not too sexy “Strip That Down,” assisted by Quavo. Now, Louis Tomlinson gets in on the action with “Back to You” featuring Bebe Rexha & Digital Farm Animals. “Back to You” isn’t the first single to feature Tomlinson exclusively – he appeared on the Steve Aoki song “Just Hold On” in 2016, prior to debut singles from Harry Styles or Liam Payne.
Going into a debut Louis Tomlinson solo single, the question personally was how compelling would he be as the star himself. He has a great voice, providing the high tenor parts within One Direction’s songs. That said, more often than not, Harry, Liam or Zayn had bigger roles. On “Back to You,” Louis proves he’s worth checking out.
Starting with the production work, “Back to You” is well-rounded. The pace is relaxed, and the sound is chill, yet still energetic. Oddly, Bebe Rexha is the first voice we hear. Why? No offense, but, Tomlinson could’ve made a stronger artistic statement for himself had he taken first blood. When he does sing on verse two, he sounds rock solid, expectedly. While his voice lacks an abundance of frills, he’s sufficiently expressive and charming.
There are a couple of more observations. The vocal harmonization between Louis and Bebe is strong by all means. Both artists play into the explicit vein of pop music, dropping f-bombs during the chorus. Is it necessary? Not really – the melodic nature of the chorus wouldn’t have suffered without the utterance of Fornication Under Consent of the King, but whatever – it is what it is. Louis also asserts on the bridge, “And I guess you’ll never know / All the bullshit that you put me through.” Alright there Tomlinson.
All in all, “Back to You” is an enjoyable debut single from Louis Tomlinson. This isn’t a game changer, but definitely builds some buzz around what a Louis Tomlinson solo album will sound like. The biggest question is still how distinct he’ll be holding the reins. Does he have the personality? Will an f-bomb and boyish tenor vocals be enough?