Niall Horan’s Heartbreak Weather left fans heartbroken with disappointment

I stood by One Direction from their “What Makes You Beautiful” days, and an unpopular opinion I had was that Niall always was my favorite. I really enjoyed his 2017 album Flicker and was eager when he announced Heartbreak Weather. 

However, Heartbreak Weather left me heartbroken. As much as I wanted to love it, it was nothing special. Horan’s last album was distinctly folky. However, he’s turned back into pop, making 14 perfectly average tracks with nothing that stands out. 

Half of the album has an 80s vibe such as “New Angel,” but songs such as “Black and White” or “Dear Patience” just seem to dilute the album due to their deeper meaning. His voice was soulful but the songs felt like vague romantic compliments.

 There are a handful of songs that sound like One Direction leftovers.  The stifling, rocking “Nice to Meet Ya” was exactly what I wanted from Horan, cocky Brit-pop. However, there wasn’t enough of that authentic sound. The glossy results of this album lacked any particular character. Was it peppered with hooks and catchy melodies? Yes, definitely. But everything sounds like something you might have heard somewhere before in an old  Ed Sheeran album. 

Heartbreak Weather makes its way through every different phase of relationship-based grief, inevitably letting some moments of catharsis feel more impactful than others. It isn’t an entirely lost cause, but it felt unfinished, like he still needed to build it up to its fullest potential.

As much as I loved One Direction, the past is in the past, and I would love something that makes me feel like Horan could be successful in his solo career.