Review: Niall — Flicker

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 at 2:20 PM
Review: Niall — Flicker by Madi Gross

                                                                Rating: ★★★★☆

As an admitted One Direction fan, I anticipated the release of Niall Horan’s debut album “Flicker.” Nostalgia rushed through me as I thought about One Direction breaking up…the same nostalgia I felt when I listened to Harry Styles’ first independent album back in May. Horan is the third member of the former band to release an album, behind Zayn Malik and Styles.

This album displayed themes of love and heartbreak, with a hint of nostalgia. After further listening to the album, I’ve decided (I think) it was a really good album. I just had different expectations for it. I was expecting a song or two about his past and how he’s gotten to where he is in his career, but maybe he’s saving that for a future album.

With the exception of a few of the songs on the album, most are about love. “Mirrors” is a song that exemplifies this and is a stand-out track on the album. The verses are softer and feature a smooth pitter-patter guitar riff, but the chorus adds more drums and belting vocals from the artist.

“Slow Hands,” released as a single back in May is one of the more upbeat songs on the album. The song also features the lyrics, “Fingerprints puttin’ on a show/got me now and I can’t say no,” which I don’t think we’d ever hear in a One Direction song. This song is a good example of how the members of the band were able to go their own ways and create new images for themselves as independent artists.

“Paper Houses” is a soft and slow jam that features the artist’s guitar riffs and soft, but powerful voice. “I don’t wanna lose your touch/I don’t wanna hurt this much/I can feel you slipping away,” are some of the deep, catchy lyrics to this track’s bridge.

Most of the songs on the album feature Horan’s expected guitar playing, which was a signature move when he was with One Direction. Honesty, I expected to hear many more songs such as 1D’s “Act My Age,” which has a more upbeat and happy-go-lucky sound. The only song like this on “Flicker” is “On My Own.” This song has a more upbeat feel and features the lyrics, “You can offer the world, baby, but I’ll take this instead.”

The track “Flicker” on the album is a slow-paced song with another one of Horan’s sweet and smooth guitar strumming patterns. “Then I look in my heart/There’s a light in the dark/Still a flicker of hope that you gave to me/That I want to keep,” are the lines of the chorus in this song. This track, which stands out on the album with lyrics that hit you straight in the heart the song, is easily one of my favorite tracks.

Overall, I would call Horan’s first solo album a success that showcases both his guitar playing and smooth vocals. It wasn’t exactly what I expected from him, but it was still a nice album. It was interesting to hear his own independent sound after only hearing him in a group for so many years.

Standout tracks: "Flicker," "Slow Hands" and "On My Own." 

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