Heartbreak Weather

Heartbreak Weather

When Niall Horan became the third member of One Direction to release a solo album (2017’s Flicker), the Irishman revealed a refreshingly low-key sound bathed in acoustic guitars and Americana melodies. For his second effort, Horan emerges from his comfort zone and cuts loose musically. See the album’s first single “Nice to Meet Ya”—an unapologetic soft-rock anthem charting the thrill of meeting someone new on a night out, featuring handclaps, rolling piano, and the kind of swagger usually reserved for his associate Harry Styles. Elsewhere on an album exploring heartbreak in all its majesty (written following his own public breakup), Horan dissects a relationship’s demise on the string-laden tearjerker “Put a Little Love on Me,” documents moving on with someone else (“Arms of a Stranger”), and commends always being there for a loved one (the Sheeran-esque “No Judgement”). Horan may not have healed his heart by “Still,” the album’s moving outro (“I’m still in love with you/Oh, we will be all right”), but this former boy-band member has never sounded so good on his own.

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