Niall Horan’s “Flicker” Lighting Up Charts

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Gabrielle Schultz, Reporter

On Friday, Oct. 2, Irish singer-songwriter and former One Direction member Niall Horan released his first solo album titled Flicker, and debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 200 Album chart. The album consists of 13 songs, which include the new single “This Town,” and also past singles like “Slow Hands” and “Too Much to Ask.” Horan has taken a step into experimenting with his own music styles. Due to his influence and respect towards artists like McFly and the Eagles, his new album has a more indie folk sound, with a few aspects of pop to tie it together.

This is a change from the pop music he has made in the past with his group mates in One Direction. Horan’s new lyrics also touch on more adult subjects, like unrequited love or frantic desperation, whereas in One Direction, songs dealt more with “aesthetic attraction,” such as “Little White Lies” and “Does He Know.”

“His new album has lyrics and vibes that I can really relate to,” said sophomore Stephany Montano. “I feel like everything is much more ‘Niall.’ The lyrics are much more personal to him and his thoughts on certain things. In One Direction, it was the input of five men, accompanied by producers. However, his new album every song is from his own individual self and portrays his own direction as an artist/musician. He shows his empathy for the millions of people that feel different types of emotions. For example, on one of his best songs (lyrically) on the album, “Mirrors,” Niall puts himself in the shoes of a girl who struggles a lot with her body image, as well as suffers from some social anxiety.”

Although many people, such as British daily newspaper The Guardian, think that Horan’s new music is “easily replicable” and “not terribly exciting,” the well known British music journalism magazine NME has rated Horan’s new album a solid three out of five stars. They commented that, “Horan knows exactly who he wants to be as an artist. “Flicker” definitely gets his post-One Direction career off to a bright start.”

“The big lyrical and production roles he [Horan] played in creating some of One Direction’s songs like ‘Fool’s Gold,’ is really reflected in his new album. I feel like this album is wonderful for his first solo piece and that the instruments, the meaning, and the overall sound really encompass who he is as an individual artist,” Montano adds.