LP1 is Liam Payne's debut studio album which was released on December 6, 2019 by Capitol Records.
Following the release of his single "Bedroom Floor" in October 2017, Liam Payne told Hits Radio that his album would be released in January 2018, saying he had worked with Ed Sheeran and that he "didn't really want to nail [him]self down so there's some dark pop on there, some super urban tracks and a lot of trap music".
In May 2018, Payne told "Good Morning America" that the album was to be released on September 14, 2018, and that there was "a good mix of beautiful people on my album, which is amazing." However, in August 2018, he announced that he had delayed the release of the album and that he would be releasing his debut EP, "First Time" to make up for it.
In September 2019, following the release of "Stack It Up", MTV said Payne had "spent much of 2019 in the studio". During that same month, he revealed to Australian radio station Nova 96.9 that the album was finished, that he was "proud" of it and it is "exactly the way I'd want my first album to sound." He also stated that it is "very hip-hop and R&B-orientated, with lots of artists that I like – an Usher and Justin Timberlake reference throughout."
On October 18, 2019, Payne formally announced the album, its title and that it would be released on December 6, 2019.
- Stack It Up (featuring Boogie Wit Da Hoodie)
- Heart Meet Break
- Hips Don't Lie
- Tell Your Friends
- Say It All
- Rude Hours
- Live Forever (featuring Cheat Codes)
- Both Ways
- Strip That Down (featuring Quavo)
- For You (Fifty Shades Freed) (with Rita Ora)
- Familiar (featuring J Balvin)
- Polaroid (with Jonas Blue & Lennon Stella)
- Get Low (with Zedd)
- Bedroom Floor
- All I Want (For Christmas)
"LP1" peaked at #17 on the UK Albums chart and #111 on the Billboard 200 chart.
"LP1" received mixed to negative reviews. At Metacritic, the album has an average score of 44 out of 100, which indicates "mixed or average reviews" based on seven reviews. It was the worst reviewed album with seven reviews or more of 2019 on the site.
Helen Brown of The Independent wrote "he's got a nice set of pipes. He gets the songs across. But without imposing any personality on them he's just, well, a singing six-pack" and that "it's all fine: shiny and efficient pop, smelling of body oil and new car upholstery. But Payne treats each track like a rental car. He gives each song a spin and hands the keys back like a good lad without leaving a trace," ending the review by stating "he's gone from One Direction to One Dimensional."
Mark Kennedy, writing for ABC News, called the album "embarrassing" while writing that the album "never really gets off the ground, a collection of monotonous club songs that often sound like warmed-over Justin Bieber rejects."
He further criticised Payne's decision to add "offerings [that] are more than two years old" and the fact that Payne only co-wrote four songs, although he did compliment "Stack It Up".
Laura Snapes of The Guardian opined that it is a "terrible pop album, but very effective contraception."
Michael Cragg, also of The Guardian, called the album "genre-ticking anonymity" and "occasionally painful yet weirdly Payne-less."
El Hunt of NME felt Payne was "so focused on ticking boxes that he forgets to have fun" and that it "shows a more grown-up side to the former One Direction member, and cherry-picks from pretty much every genre that's in vogue right now. The problem is that it doesn't tell us much about Liam Payne" while particularly talking down on "Both Ways". Hunt did, however, note that the album "can be fun when it does loosen up a little more", naming "Familiar", "Heart Meet Break", and "Bedroom Floor" as standout tracks.
Rawiya Kameir of Pitchfork was critical, calling Payne "another pop star flailing to find his identity amid trend-hopping production and half-baked lyrics" and that "listening to LP1, you almost feel sorry for Payne. It’s maybe more pathetic to have failed not for risking too much, but after seeming to have tried so little."
Neil Z. Yeung of AllMusic wrote that Payne "tackles hip-hop and electronic genres but struggles to distinguish himself from the crop of similar-sounding contemporaries" and that a majority of the songs "sound more like a streaming playlist set to shuffle" while adding that the album is "front-loaded with mostly forgettable trifles" and "saved by this bountiful back-end, which plays like an early prediction of a potential greatest-hits collection" while advising Payne to "find a more distinctive vision and a team who can better utilize his strong vocals."
Yeung also added that the album's best tracks include featured artists, particuraly praising "For You" as the album's best track while also complimenting "Familiar", "Get Low", and "Stack It Up".
Writing for The Times, Will Hodgkinson called the album "dull", but praised Payne's "strong voice."
A.D. Amorosi, writing for Variety, opined that "the writing and singing aren't strong enough and come across as C-level Timberlake material" while ending the review by saying "during "Home with You," one of Payne's better singles not included on this album, the singer claims: "Too many cooks in the kitchen / Too many fools here listening / Why don't we find somewhere quiet, quiet." Liam Payne should have taken his own advice."
Lauren Murphy of entertainment.ie called the songs "indistinguishable" and the album "a wasted opportunity" and "dull", noting that the album "sounds like a collection of songs – not a cohesive album".
Thomas Green, writing for the i, stated that "One Direction's devoted fans will love this, but nobody else will" while commenting that the album "should make lots of money. Not much else about it seems to matter to Payne." He also opioned that the second half of the album, "stacked with tunes he's released over the last three years" is "more enjoyable" than the newer releases.
The album specifically received heavy criticism from critics and the general public for fetishising bisexual women in the track "Both Ways."
Some reviews were more positive, with Rachel McGrath of the Evening Standard opining that Payne "finds the perfect middle ground" and writing that the album is "perfectly packaged hits that see him reaffirm his love for hip-hop, dabble with reggaeton and even croon a Christmas track."
Markos Papadatos of the Digital Journal penned that the album was "incredible", calling it "worth the wait" and "all heart and soul, and it is highly recommended for all."