The world has watched Irish singer Niall Horan grow from being a founding member of the juggernaut boy band One Direction to an accomplished singer-songwriter now releasing his second solo album “Heartbreak Weather” at the age of 26.
The 14-track album is an emotional rollercoaster, as Horan tells a love story from an outsider’s perspective. The songs range from feeling euphoric in one track to tragic the next.
For example, the title track, “Heartbreak Weather,” tells of what seems to be love at first sight. Horan sings, “I swear there was lightnin' comin' from your eyes/Startin' a fire in our hotel room/And yeah, we were dancin', dancin' to Bruno/And I couldn't turn away from you/Yeah, I saw you smilin', breakin' the silence/Tellin' me just what you want/There in the moment, I was reminded/I haven't felt this way in a while.” The lyrics, accompanied by steady, upbeat drums and electric guitar, make it seem like Horan is on cloud nine.
However, the love story seems to end unfortunately. In “Bend The Rules,” Horan sings of a person’s suspicion toward their partner’s faithfulness. Horan’s soft vocals, paired with a slow, melancholy beat, give the listener a feeling of despair and sadness.
The album goes beyond songs of love and heartbreak, though. It dives into more complex and mature themes of relationships such as patience, rebounds and one-night stands.
The song “Dear Patience” tells of a couple fighting and seemingly trying to work it out. With the verse, “Dear patience/Can we share a drink and let go of the pressure?/Dear patience/'Cause the last time that we talked seems like forever,” Horan tells of a couple struggling to maintain their patience. Horan’s use of an acoustic guitar and a simple pop synthesizer beat creates a more simple song compared to the rest of the album.
“Arms Of A Stranger” discusses the more complex and confusing emotions of someone who needs their old partner, but instead uses someone else to find comfort. The lyrics “You left me with nothing/Now I'm lyin' in the arms of a stranger/But why do I think of you?” and the gruffness of Horan’s vocals shows the frustration and confusion the person is feeling along with how mature he has become since his days in One Direction. It also displays the many emotions that come into someone’s mind while going through a breakup.
With “Heartbreak Weather,” Horan was able to provide his audience with a fresh album that shows he’s capable of being on his own and telling mature and relatable stories.