The former One Direction member's second studio album showcases his development as a solo artist.
Faith in The Future, released Nov 11., is Louis Tomlinson’s sophomore studio album. The 16 track album is full of love songs, odes, and ballads, covering the overall theme of how complex love is, and how hard growth can be.
In 2020, when Tomlinson released his first solo studio album, Walls, it was clear that he was still trying to find his individual sound. Walls was a guitar heavy, fairly conservative but overall solid album. On the other hand, Tomlinson’s second studio album Faith in the Future wows fans, and is a testament to his growth as an artist.
The album kicks off with its first track, “The Greatest,” a spunky rock song with powerful drums and synth in the background. Tomlinson’s unique and distinct voice echoes passionately through the song, and it’s a perfect start to the album. It’s a love song to fans and was initially written as a tour opener rather than an album opener, as Tomlinson says in his track by track explanation of the album.
Track 2 is “Written All Over Your Face,” a fan favorite song. The song is reminiscent of the band Arctic Monkeys, heavy on guitar riffs and emotional vocals. Tomlinson talked about taking inspiration in the Sheffield Band, who originated only an hour down the road from his own hometown, Doncaster. The song was produced by Red Triangle, a production team who’s worked with other artists like The Struts and Charlie Puth.
Next up is “Bigger Than Me,” the first single of the album. General response to “Bigger Than Me” was lax; it didn’t stand out particularly in Tomlinson’s discography. Even so, the song carries an important message about letting go of doubt and negativity. The song is as motivational and sincere as it is catchy and easy to listen to.
The next four songs have a much more mellow feel and flow compared to the start of the album. “Lucky Again” is a catchy, smoothly sung song about second chances. “Face the Music,” is another guitar-heavy tune, and “Chicago” an emotional, acoustic ballad follows.
Produced by James McMorrow, Fred Ball, and J Moon, “All This Time” is up next. McMorrow, one of the producers, started with a vision for this song, stylistically similar to a later song on the album, “She is Beauty We are World Class.” It’s one of those songs that is so stunningly lyrically brilliant, you don’t realize it until you take a second listen. “And I keep on buildin’ mountains/ hoping that they’ll turn to gold/ but the truth is I still doubt the work/ I do can get me home,” he sings, endlessly profound.
The second single of the album, “Out of My System” brings pop, rock, and punk sounds together with spirited lyrics. “Slowly, I never wanna go slowly/ I only wanna go faster/ Towards disaster every time,” he sings to open the fast-paced song. “Out of My System” is electrifying, it makes you feel alive, similar to the album opener.
The second half of the track list is where the album really begins to heat up. Full of catchy and rhythmic songs, Tomlinson’s tunes grab the listener and never let them go. A standout song is “Silver Tongues,” the final single of the album. Its profound lyrics accompanied by its slow start and strong chorus make it one of the best written and produced songs on the album. Starting with a soft piano introduction, Tomlinson softly sings, “gettin’ high on the amber wave/ going deep for the ones who do the same,” before moving into a drum heavy, impassioned, lovey-dovey song.
Track 12 is delicate and soft: listening to “She is Beauty We Are World Class” feels like time has stopped. The title of the song came from a phrase written on a toilet mirror. “Felt like a weird place for such a poetic sentiment,” Tomlinson reported on the song to Twitter. “Common People” and “Angels Fly” are up next, and Tomlinson truly never misses when it comes to heartfelt lyricalism. “If every star is an eye in the sky/ you’ll see angels fly,” he sings, a stunning use of simile and imagery. Positioned closer to the end of the album, these songs serve as a mellow intermission for this impassioned, emotional journey.
The second to last song on Faith in the Future is “Holding Onto Heartache,” an enchanting, rhythmic pop song. While Tomlinson might be “Holding Onto Heartache,’ we are certainly holding onto his every word.
“That’s the Way Love Goes,” the album’s final song, can only be described as a ballad. According to Tomlinson, it was conceptually based on “Dry Your Eyes” by The Streets. It serves as a solid conclusion to an album about growth, second chances, happiness, and passion -- just the way love goes.
Faith in the Future emphasizes Tomlinson’s stylistic and vocal range. It’s an amazingly produced album with beautiful and thoughtful lyrics and songs that intricately flow together to take the listener on a touching journey they never want to end.
Louis Tomlinson’s North American tour starts May 26. Tour dates and ticket sales can be found here.
Lillian Paterson. Hey, I'm Lillian (she/her) and I'm a co-sports and co-op-ed editor for SCO. When I'm not being totally consumed by school work I like to play guitar and read! More »