ALBUM REVIEW: Niall Horan – Flicker
I was honestly not looking forward to listening to Niall Horan’s debut album and not because I don’t think he’s talented, more because I’m not a fan of the production of his lead singles. “This Town” was forgettable at best, “Slow Hands” had a brilliant hook but the vocal production was unflattering while the vulnerable piano ballad “Too Much To Ask” was promising but not incredible. However as a whole “Flicker” impressed me with it’s maturity and raw talent. Album opener “On The Loose” is the most upbeat track and is definitely one that should be considered as the next single because it instantly gets stuck in your head and will have you deliberating whether you already press replay or not. For the majority of the record he experiments with a folk-rock sound but for “Seeing Blind” he teams up with exciting newcomer Maren Morris for a country inspired love track that will have you feeling all gooey and warm inside. “Oh, my, my when I look into your eyes It’s a sight I can’t describe. Oh I must be seeing blind”. The vulnerable “Paper Houses” strips the production down for an acoustic moment that stands out over the underwhelming “Fire Away” and title track “Flicker” which has a similar production. “Since We’re Alone” is a groovy little moment that offers a melody that reminds me of Haim while album closer “You And Me” is a cute little moment. The album is brief in duration but impactful in it’s delivery minus the couple of dud moments. The deluxe edition offers three other tracks that will appeal to his big fans but otherwise they are pretty skippable except for the empowering “Mirrors”. What stands out the most on this record is his impressive songwriting capability. All these songs are honest, raw and perfectly showcase who he is as an artist which is an impressive feat for someone who is only just releasing their debut solo album. I’m just glad he didn’t try to do an Irish jig inspired song because he would’ve definitely lost me then.