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Track Review

Depending on which news source you consider authoritative, One Direction is either merely "on hiatus" or permanently broken up. One thing's for sure though: That ambiguous status isn't stopping any of the five former members of this popular British and Irish boy band from pumping out solo albums and hits.

Liam Payne, in fact, is the last One Direction member to officially go solo. His first single, "Strip That Down," features hip-hop artist Quavo and was co-written by Ed Sheeran.

Payne recently said that he'd considered just fading into the background of the music business post 1D: "To be honest with you, I wasn't going to do a solo venture," Payne told Billboard. "I was just going to go into songwriting and carry on and do that. But then I was like, 'You've been trying to do this since you were 14 years old. You would be ridiculously stupid to turn down the option to have a deal.' Coming out of the band, we had some pretty good opportunities around us. I had to do something."

Payne also said this particular song might not have happened without Sheeran's determined influence. "I was in a gym in L.A., and I got a call that said 'You have to get to London now.' And we had literally just gotten to L.A., so we U-turned straight back to London— which of course you do for Mr. Ed Sheeran, because I'd do anything for the man. We went in, sat around and discussed a bunch of things about life, and [the song] basically just came together."

The result? A Timberlake-esque burner that's equal parts sensual and sentimental.

Love 'n' Lust

Payne begins confessionally, saying he's been focusing mostly on himself lately: "And I've been keeping to myself (self)/I had my eyes up on the prize/Ain't watching anybody else."

But what kind of pop song would that story make, right? Right on cue, an alluring woman shows up in the narrative: "But your love, it hit me hard, girl." Payne teasingly admits, "Your bad for my health." But of course in this sort of song, bad usually means good.

Payne sings that he "used to be in 1D," but now that he's free he isn't "changing the way" he used to be. Instead, he plans to "have fun and (get rowdy)" while sipping "Coke and Bacardi," with all eyes on him as he drives his Ferrari to the party, and dances with the object of his desire.

Although "there's a lot of people in the crowd," he says, "only you can dance with me." Then he instructs her, "So put your hands on my body/And swing that 'round for me, baby (swing)/ You know, I love it when the music's loud/But c'mon, strip that down for me."

We might have expected things to get steamier from there, but Liam surprisingly heads in a more romantic direction. "Yeah, you swept me off my feet," he tells this woman. "You know, that I don't need no money/When your love is beside me/Yeah, you opened up my heart/And then you threw away the key."

Quavo, for his part, seems less about the heart and more about the flesh. "She gon' strip it down for a thug," his verse suggestively begins. And, he implies, their connection is fueled more by alcohol than by emotions alone. "Five shots in, she in love now." Quavo concludes with a sensual allusion: "She know how to make me feel with my eyes closed (skrrt, skrrt)."

Club Life

You don't need to go to the club to understand what this song means. But if you watch the video, you may feel like you're in one.

The opening scene shows a woman in a bikini dancing sensually. The camera then flashes from Payne to multiple women breakdancing in provocative clothing. Lights flash as they dance. Various scenes in black, white and neon colors add to the video's club "aura."

The most risqué scenes feature of trio of women dancing in shorts, heels and crop tops in an ill-lit bedroom—giving off an eerie, cheap motel kind of vibe. And there's more of the same when Quavo finally shows up.

Basically, the video features women dancing in little clothing while guys watch and enjoy—definitely emphasizing the song's obvious sexual elements much more so than it does the emotional ones.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

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Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Reached No. 10.

Record Label

Republic Records




May 19, 2017

On Video

Year Published


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