Friday, January 19th, 2018

Louis Tomlinson – Miss You

3rd try is the… charm?


Micha Cavaseno: While foolish critics fondled the prattishness of current day Liam Gallagher and Primal Scream pastiche as some kind of return to form just because he had a good year on Twitter, leave it to the prophet of the zen-sunni anarchist of laddishment defined as “The Tommo Way”, one Maestro Louis Tomlinson, to actually bother with coming up with a song that channels the Oasian spirit. The rock bits are all corrosive grafts to the point of Frankenstein artificiality, but whereas prime Oasis sounded like the pieces of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane’s torched remains superimposed over Paul Weller statuettes at times, “Miss You” is the false memories of those Good Time Gents xeroxed and 3D-printed out, Trevor Horn style, into blasts of anxiety disguised as escapist hoots. Louis feels attached to violent bungee cords outside of his control from the demands of the present, desire to “move on” into the future and the regrets of the past, and for all the easy charm of the sneery “Shit” reflex, you get the sense he would really like to keep up those swells of abandon for more than a few moments.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: A post-breakup celebration complete with concomitant feelings of bitterness and regret. Louis Tomlinson channels 2000s pop rock and Oasis to forge a song well-suited for a bygone era’s Teen Movie and obligatory soundtrack tie-in. The strings are hokey but self-aware: a cartoon rain cloud that follows Louis as he attempts to drink away conflicted feelings. The whole situation may be trope after trope, but it can feel less lonely and disheartening when you align your experiences with familiar, well-trod territory.

Scott Mildenhall: It’s great to have to Freefaller/The Noise Next Door/Son of Dork back, it really is, but what on earth is going with Louis Tomlinson’s accent? Perhaps he just has to do what he can to get his voice through a song unscathed, but here it flits between classic, Robbiesque mid-atlanticism (“all of these thoughts“, “tune”), an approximation of “standard” southern (“dancing” is halfway to Bextor), and a weirdly exaggerated version of his own northern speech (witness the same vowel in “worry”, “love” and “coming” in the bridge, which does not sound quite like how he says it when talking). In the final case, it’s almost as if they wrote in that particular vocalic thread in an attempt to accentuate his tediously misguided #toplad persona. Better yet, it might all be a purposeful display of linguistic performance made to explode the myth of singular authenticity. So let’s just pretend that it is.

Alex Clifton: Louis Tomlinson is such an enigma; I could never quite figure out his place in 1D, and I’m not sure anyone else did, either. Zayn was the hot one, Niall the songwriter, Harry the wild card, and Liam was… well, whatever Liam is. But Louis? Who knows, other than the first one to become a dad. Fittingly, this is the most generic 1D solo debut. Even “Strip That Down,” a real corker, could’ve only come from someone as self-important and un-self-aware as Liam. Louis ticks all the post-boy band boxes here–he swears! he drinks!–and doesn’t actually sound bad, but I still can’t tell you anything about Louis-the-person. In other words, it’s exactly what I expected from him.

Isabel Cole: In the absence of any ability to even pretend to be a little bit objective about my fave Direction/fellow Capricorn sun Gemini rising with Mars in Sg/iPhone background and lockscreen since 2013/biological son whom I, personally, raised to semi-manhood with my blood sweat and tears, how about full transparency instead? Three points off the bat for the sheer base pleasure of hearing Louis Tomlinson sing with false brightness “everything is fucking great” with that accent, happier to be swearing on his song than anyone in pop since Avril snarled her exhaustion with all the ssshit that you do; one point for the #mood of spending the entirety of an ostensibly fun night out glued to your phone, two points for the #big mood of “just one more pint or five / does it even matter anyway”; one for the knowledge that he is finally making the loud dumb guitar-punching fake pop punk of his beautiful idiot heart; two for finding myself genuinely affected by the bridge – I remember that, too, when I was his age, marveling over how suddenly the rules can change, how you have to unlearn the entire way your life has oriented itself around the person you can’t even be with alone now; docked two points for not living up to the promise of “No Control”; bonus point for “lads.”

Hannah Jocelyn: “Miss You” is a bizarre listen from the top — a dry guitar VST shares space with real-life violins, martial drum loops, gang vocals, and a glossy, compressed acoustic strum. Also, auto-tuned ad-libs. That’s all before the lyrics, which sound like “Not Over You” was combined with the sappiest parts of Divide, then sprinkled with curse words, and then sent through Botnik. I’m assuming Julian Bunetta didn’t know how to work with Louis after crafting successes for Niall, so Bunetta just decided to do everything at once. Therefore, we get an album’s worth of misguided ideas in one song, but by some miracle, it’s just WTF enough to work. To paraphrase another Directioner, it’s absolutely ridiculous, but I’m into it.

Katherine St Asaph: How is Louis from One Direction making better Pink songs than Pink?

Austin Brown: Oh, so he’s decided to be the pop-punk one? That’s…a choice. Somehow this makes me appreciate the fluidity of post-reunion Fall Out Boy’s EDM integrations far more though–the genre gestures scattered throughout (strings, auto-tuned adlibs, background choral vocals, etc) feel more like badly disguised bids to expand Louis’s market share, and who needs any of this when Hey Violet is around?

Anthony Easton: Bratty vocals, but not in ways that I haven’t heard a million times before, made even more obvious by the terribly reductive guitar playing. 

Alfred Soto: While his 1D mates have gotten undue credit for using power chords and arena-ready drum patterns, Louis Tomlinson aims for spice: he adds violins and some rubbish about dancing on tables. As if.  

Ashley John: Louis is earnest in the only scrubby, scuffed up, anthemic way he knows how to be. “Miss You” steals just the right amount of pop punk sandpaper grit to toughen up an otherwise precise pop song into something else. He’s genuine and apocalyptic in the same lines, barely delineating a Tuesday night from the vast, hopeless forever. This song sounds like the stride he’s been waiting to hit. 

Reader average: [5.5] (2 votes)

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9 Responses to “Louis Tomlinson – Miss You”

  1. “Louis Tomlinson is such an enigma; I could never quite figure out his place in 1D, and I’m not sure anyone else did, either.” no offense but this is the most disrespectful thing i have read here since that time someone implied harry styles doesn’t care about clouds

  2. This song makes me miss the All-American rejects.

  3. Katherine OTM

  4. @Isabel this will probably disappoint you further but it took me literally two months to learn to differentiate between Liam and Louis when I got into 1D, and the only way I learnt was “Louis is the one who looks like a rat and Liam is the one who is not that one”

  5. I mean, Alex… that’s fair

  6. before he turned into a rat, Louis was legit the prettiest one

  7. Louis is the one who looks like a rat and has the weakest voice.

  8. Yeah but looking pretty and having the ability to sing got Zayn where exactly? With no songs? There you go.

    The Rat is good. If he doesn’t name an album “Sewer Songs” I’ll be pretty miffed tbh!

  9. Louis was and still is my favorite voice of 1D fwiw