Given the exceptional success of his debut album ‘Flicker’ that was released in 2017, Niall Horan set quite the high standard for his subsequent releases – which have not let us down! Upon the time of publishing, his second album, titled ‘Heartbreak Weather’ had recently hit the Number One spot in the UK and in his native country, Ireland. A far cry from his time in global sensation One Direction, his album proves his incredible talent as a solo artist. Keep reading to check out our review of ‘Heartbreak Weather.’
The album kicks off with the title track, ‘Heartbreak Weather,’ which instantly introduces listeners to his sound – with a guitar-fuelled beat truly adding to the nature of the track. To a certain extent in this track, Niall almost opens his personal thoughts to listeners, which makes the track more endearing. An accurate description of how it’s a little less lonely when that special someone is around, we couldn’t think of a better track to start the album with!
‘Black and White’ is one of the most lyrically beautiful tracks on the album, and we would even go so far as to say it’s one of his best tracks. Depicting an air of vulnerability, Niall’s ability to pen beautiful lyrics paint a captivating image in the listener’s mind. It’s impossible to not love this song. Capturing the desire to want to spend the rest of his life with someone, this is one of our favourite tracks from the album.
A more stripped-back track, ‘Dear Patience’ highlights his ability to diversify his sound. It’s becoming evident throughout the album that there is a very personal nature to each track. Remarkably, he manages to write an excellent song, while getting everything right musically, which is again shown in this track. What is more, at the end of the track, there is an orchestral sound – which is quite breath taking!
‘Bend The Rules’ instantly draws listeners in from the beginning, with its slower sound, which allow Niall’s vocals to be amplified on a different level. The chorus particularly makes this track stand out, with the verses leading up to the great chorus. This album showcases his ability to experiment with a range of sounds and ‘Bend The Rules’ makes for an excellent addition to the album.
Judging by Twitter, ‘Small Talk’ is one of the fans’ favourites track – and rightly so! The raunchy nature of this track has inevitably sent fans into a frenzy. The title of the track says it all really! ‘Let’s skip all the small talk and go straight up to your room’ are lyrics that follow on, albeit in a raunchier manner, from ‘Slow Hands,’ which featured on ‘Flicker’ several years
‘Nice To Meet Ya’ and ‘Put A Little Love On Me’ follow on from each other in the album, with both tracks being released as singles prior to the release of ‘Heartbreak Weather.’ Both tracks are very different in nature. The release of ‘Nice To Meet Ya’ introduced fans to his new era and it will no doubt be stuck in your head and will have you singing along to it for weeks after! While ‘Nice To Meet Ya’ has an infectiously catchy sound, while ‘Put A Little Love On Me’ is a stark contrast, being so raw and beautiful in nature. With a pure piano sound throughout, this is another beautiful track from the album and it will no doubt be captivating when performed live on his worldwide headline tour!
‘Arms Of A Stranger’ is one of the tracks on the album that has a very rock sound. Niall truly tells a story through his song-writing, and this track is no different. This track has become a lot of people’s favourite from the album. The chorus can be likened to an anthem, with the lyrics ‘You left me with nothing, now I’m lying in the arms of a stranger.’ Excellent lyrics, combined with a great sound, make for a fantastic track!
‘Everywhere’ is another track that has an anthem-like chorus, and the track tells a story that each listener can relate to in one way or another! That heart-wrenching feeling of seeing someone you once cared about seemingly popping up everywhere you turn? He’s managed to make a positive and insanely upbeat track from what would have been a negative situation, with his vocals once again standing out on this track.
‘Cross Your Mind’ has some sort of country/rock feel to it. This track is a hidden gem on the album. It highlights Niall’s continually developing music sound. It’s evident that he experiments with a range of sounds on this album, and yet they all fit together incredibly well, with no tracks over-riding each other or clashing with regard to their genre.
‘New Angel’ is an exceptional track, with Niall’s vocals again showcased. The album has an excellent structure to it, in that he has a variety of genres and there is a track that every listener can relate to, whether it’s a situation that has happened in the past or a situation that a listener is going through currently. Thus far, the album has seemed to focus on heartbreak, but ‘New Angel’ represents moving on once and for all!
‘No Judgement’ was another single previously released prior to the album. The track represents having a care-free nature and the beat is infectious, and you can’t help but sing along. A funny music video partners the single, which we absolutely love! It is such a happy song and conveys the importance of just being yourself, in any aspect of life.
‘San Francisco’ is the penultimate track on ‘Heartbreak Weather.’ This track has a very relaxed beat throughout, and is very cleverly written, as with all tracks on the album. Niall’s vocals are filled with emotion and this really helps bring the track to life and take on a new dimension. In a recent interview, Niall explained that this song is based on the beginning of a relationship and his desire to go back to where it all began, evidently in San Francisco.
Last but not least, ‘Still’ is the final track on the album and is so incredibly beautiful in its nature. The track is all about still being in love with someone, regardless of how long it has been. Throughout the album, Niall has been very open with expressing his emotions and feelings through his lyrics, but ‘Still’ highlights his vulnerability on a different level.
On the whole, ‘Heartbreak Weather’ is an exceptional album and represents one of Niall’s best releases to date. There is a song for everyone. Niall doesn’t just stick to one particular genre – he uses a mixture of genres and is very experimental with his sound. His sound has continued to evolve since the release of his first album, and we can’t wait to hear tracks from ‘Heartbreak Weather’ performed live when he heads out on tour! For a full list of tour dates, head to: www.niallhoran.com. ‘Heartbreak Weather’ is out now.
WORDS BY RACHEL DEMPSTER.