4 Songs, 12 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Shortly before Liam Payne was due to drop his first solo album, he alerted his fans that they’d have to make do with this EP—for now. “The last few months have seen some big changes for me,” the ex-One Direction singer tweeted, explaining that the initial slate of songs now “felt from another age.” First Time, a colorful sampler pack released while he reworks the album, has plenty to tide us over: hip-hop flirtations (“First Time” featuring French Montana), a tender piano ballad (“Depend On It”), and carefree electro-pop inflated with helium-toned synths (“Slow”). It isn't easy to pull off such genre-hopping, but Payne—holding tight to his R&B-pop roots—adapts each style to fit his vision, not the other way around.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Shortly before Liam Payne was due to drop his first solo album, he alerted his fans that they’d have to make do with this EP—for now. “The last few months have seen some big changes for me,” the ex-One Direction singer tweeted, explaining that the initial slate of songs now “felt from another age.” First Time, a colorful sampler pack released while he reworks the album, has plenty to tide us over: hip-hop flirtations (“First Time” featuring French Montana), a tender piano ballad (“Depend On It”), and carefree electro-pop inflated with helium-toned synths (“Slow”). It isn't easy to pull off such genre-hopping, but Payne—holding tight to his R&B-pop roots—adapts each style to fit his vision, not the other way around.

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