When Liam Payne launched his solo career with the distinctly white hip hop of ‘Strip That Down’, he was not overly convincing as a solo star. The cheesy, Timberlake-aping track made for a dodgy debut, a clumsy attempt at RnB that felt miles away from Payne’s comfort zone. But then came ‘Get Low’, a collaboration with Russian-German producer Zedd that yielded much more satisfying results. Payne sounded more at ease on the tropical dance bop, Zedd’s production a nice accompaniment to Payne’s fairly anonymous vocals.
‘Bedroom Floor’ is Payne’s first solo track that doesn’t come with a featured artist. After Quavo’s pointless addition to ‘Strip That Down’, surely this can be no bad thing.
OK so, first of all, I feel like Liam Payne is speaking directly to me when he sings “Heard you been talking about me lately / telling all your friends how much you hate me.” Has Liam tapped my phone? Because I will never get bored of talking trash about One Direction’s superfluous member, the appendix of an otherwise very good pop group.
Anyway, ‘Bedroom Floor’ is sort of a halfway point between the RnB of ‘Strip That Down’ and the catchy dance of ‘Get Low’. Beginning with a steel pan intro, it bubbles into a simmering pop verse before segueing into a repetitive head-bobbing chorus. It’s more subtle than Payne’s output so far, relying on a pulsing, understated rhythm that keeps the track bopping along quite nicely.
‘Bedroom Floor’ does raise a few questions, though. Namely, has Liam ever heard an iPhone ringtone? Because I’ve never met anyone with a ringtone like the annoying little chirrup Liam samples here. Secondly, what does Liam mean when he says “Don’t make me bring up your dirty laundry”? It sounds like a covert threat, a slut-shamey sentiment that makes Payne sound like a massive fuckboy. Not that he needs much help with that. ‘Bedroom Floor’ is littered with fuckboyish lines, Payne playing the role of smug and leery ex-boyfriend without much problem.
That said, ‘Bedroom Floor’ isn’t a bad song, although it’s not a particularly memorable one, either. It definitely feels more like an album track than a second single, but it’s nice to see Liam playing with genres, even if he does still feel like a budget Bieber. So does ‘Bedroom Floor’ make a convincing solo star of Liam Payne? Not quite, but it does edge him a little closer.