[NEW RELEASE] NIALL HORAN
Label: Capitol Records
Niall Horan’s “Heartbreak Weather” is an overall bright collection from the former One Directioner, but one that doesn’t top his 2017 debut, the nifty “Flicker.” If he was more folky on the last one, here he’s veered back into pop, making 14 perfectly fine tracks, if not volcanic ones.
The half dozen best songs - like the Ed Sheeran-like “No Judgement,” the ’80s-ish title track and the addictive “New Angel” - are diluted by too many that make little impression, especially the softer, quieter songs “Black and White,” “Dear Patience,” “Put a Little Love On Me,” “Still” and “San Francisco.” The sultry, rocking “Nice to Meet Ya” was a dynamite first single, but its cocky Brit-pop sound isn’t followed through for the rest of “Heartbreak Weather.” Horan’s music doesn’t always reach out and grab you by the throat, so a few listens are often required to release their understated beauty. But more spins don’t always help this time. The album is in no way a disaster like the one approaching Horan on the album cover. It’s just not an improvement on his debut effort. Not to worry, the storm will pass.