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Finding Faith in the Future with Louis Tomlinson | Concert Review

Very few artists have the kind of relationship with their fans that Louis Tomlinson does with his fanbase.

There is a level of support and love that most spend their whole careers trying to achieve. This was proven after the release of Faith in the Future, Tomlinson’s second studio album, hit #1 in UK’s official charts, his first as a solo artist. A large part of that was due to his loyal fans, who had had gifted albums to other fans, bought multiple copies at stores, and streamed it on all platforms. They were determined and their efforts weren’t lost on Tomlinson, who thanked his fans profusely for going out and doing this for him.

The English singer took a moment during his sold out show at Irving Plaza in New York City during album release day to express his gratitude. “I just want to get sentimental for a moment,” he began, addressing the crowd of cheering fans. “I couldn’t have made this album without you. […] You guys gave me the confidence to make the record that I wanted to make. […] The only opinion that I care about is you lots. I just want to say thank you, thank you. I feel really proud of this record.”

With this second studio album, Tomlinson took a brave leap into the pop punk genre, something he’d been wanting to do for a while now. Influenced by bands like Oasis and Arctic Monkeys, he crafted an album that is the perfect follow up to his debut album, Walls. The record opens with “The Greatest”, an upbeat track that was written as a tour opener. Tomlinson stated that he had intended for it to sound ambitious and with intent, with the chorus lyric, “Together, we’re the greatest,” a nod to his fans and their teamwork. Similarly, the first single and third track of the album, “Bigger Than Me” is also one that Tomlinson dedicated to his fans, the lyrics speaking of self growth and being positive. 

 

Positivity is a theme that shows up in many of Tomlinson’s tracks and it’s inspiring to see, especially from someone who, while in the public eye, has had to go through a lot of difficulties. His lyrics are vulnerable and honest, especially in tracks like like “Chicago”, “Saturdays”, and “Holding on to Heartache”. The lyrics cover topics of heartbreak and change, but ultimately moving on in life in a healthy and positive way. His vulnerability is a big part of why his fanbase care for him so deeply, but it’s definitely not one-sided. He’s just as protective and cares for them as much as they do for him. 

Amongst these tracks are the more uplifting ones, such as “Angels Fly”, which has become a fan-favorite. The lyrics not only put things into perspective for the listener, “Look at the horizon/Does it make you feel small?/Put the pain behind you now/You don’t need it anymore,” but Tomlinson also assures that he’s there for them, “You’ll be okay, we can talk tomorrow/I’m on my way with some time to borrow.” While the energy and overall sound of the record is a level up from his last album, what hasn’t changed is Tomlinson’s talents as a songwriter, which has always felt timeless. He co-wrote on every track as he’d done in Walls and many of One Direction’s albums as well. 

 

Tomlinson released another two singles — “Out of My System”, a guitar heavy and upbeat track that brought a different level of energy during his performance, and “Silver Tongues”, which fans have interpreted as his song to his bandmates in One Direction. The track that surprised people beyond his fandom is “Written All Over Your Face” with its earworm melody and lyrics that speak of a partner being upset with Tomlinson as he’s trying to make it up to them. “You’re giving me the silent treatment /Don’t know what it’s achieving/When we’re finished saying nothing/Can we please get back to lovin’?/When it’s good, it’s really something/Can we please get back to us now?

The most rewarding part about Tomlinson achieving the number 1 album in the UK is that he’d never been one to care about the charts. He didn’t want to cater to the general public and what would get the most radio play. Tomlinson’s always been about authenticity and what felt right for him as an artist, knowing that his fanbase would support him no matter what. He wanted to make the record he was proud of and play those songs on tour where he felt uplifted by the audience. While he got all of that, he was also getting the recognition he deserved as an artist and a songwriter.

 

Faith In The Future is out now.

 

Words Naureen Nashid

Photography Joshua Halling 

 

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