Review: Niall Horan’s disappointing album puts the heartbreak in ‘Heartbreak Weather’

Niall Horan's second album was released on March 13, 2020.

Photo credit: Niall Horan album promotional pictures

Niall Horan’s second album was released on March 13, 2020. “I have worked so hard on this album for the last 18 months and I am so ready to release it,” Horran wrote in an Instagram post.

By Lizette Gonzalez, Staff Reporter

When I heard that former One Direction member Niall Horan would be releasing another album, “Heartbreak Weather,” I expected to hear unique songs and catchy melodies. However, after listening to the entirety of the album, I was saddened to see that it was the exact opposite of what was expected.

The album, which is composed of 14 tracks, quickly became the number one album on Apple’s iTunes chart when it was released on March 13. Before the album’s release, Horan teased the track names in a fun “weather” video that provoked more interest in what the album would bring.

The album cover features Horan on top of a chair in the middle of a thunderstorm. The art connects with themes that Horan sings in the album and also reflects what is going on in the world right now with the COVID-19 outbreak and panic that can be seen all around us. I interpreted it as the idea that music can calm people even when there’s chaos around them.

Heartbreak Weather” featured three singles that were released beforehand, including “No Judgement“, “Put A Little Love On Me” and “Nice to Meet Ya.”

“No Judgement” explores the theme of not judging people when you should be someone they should depend on instead. The instrumental in this song matched the mood the lyrics created, and the guitar sounds complemented the vocals. However, the track did include some generic sounds, such as the recognizable melody patterns and guitar lines that can be found in many of the current pop songs on the radio.

“‘No Judgment’ is one of my favorite [songs] I’ve written, loved writing this song as I knew exactly what I had to say,” Horan wrote in an Instagram post. “Let’s stop judging each other, life isn’t about that.”

The second single on the album is “Put a Little Love On Me.” The stripped-back song with only the piano was amazing, as it further pushed the idea of focusing on the lyrics and Horan’s voice. Horan sings about how he still has love to give to someone in a past relationship and showcases his heartbreak through lyrics such as, “I look around as my heart is collapsing, ’cause you’re the only one I need, so put a little love on me.” This single is enjoyable and unique, which cannot be said about the other tracks.

The last single, “Nice to Meet Ya” was not needed in the album. The song features soft rock melodies and background vocals in the chorus that do not compliment the track at all. It also felt out of place, since most of the tracks are calming melodies with less overwhelming sounds. The song itself did not feel like Horan’s style of simple melodies and calming vocals.

Many of the songs were repetitive in terms of the melodies and even the lyrics. Most songs do not have the value of replay in them. The album itself seemed to showcase that Horan stayed in his safe space and was not very experimental with the songs (with the exception of “Nice to Meet Ya”), which was a bit disappointing because the album could have had more to offer.

For example, two songs that were very similar are “Everywhere” and “Cross Your Mind.” Both songs embody the idea of being so attracted to a person that the world stops. This theme seems very cliche, and the pieces sounded like every song on the radio.

Other themes that the album discussed were the idea of missing your old partner and being hurt. I expected and hoped that these feelings would have been portrayed in a more unique way by Horan.

Although some songs did disappoint me, there were some that did offer the replay value. For example, the third song “Dear Patience” talked about the fear Horan has of showing both his positive and negative but true emotions he has. A relatable and heartbreaking lyric was, “Feels like you don’t even know me, just me and the stars can get lonely.” This was the only song where the  lyrics actually stuck with me and did not sound like what every other artist is singing about.

My favorite song from the album is the closing track called “Still,” which I love because of the way it was produced. Horan talks about how he admits to himself that he is still in love with his past partner even after they have been apart for some time. The song showcases the different ranges of Horan’s voice and did not have background sounds or instruments that distracted the listener from the song as a whole. The lyrics were also very simple and, in this case, that worked with the song. Horan sings, “A thousand miles away from the day that we started, but I’m just standing here with you just tryna be honest.”

Even though the album had ups and downs, it isn’t entirely a lost cause. I did find myself liking certain songs that I would re-listen to in the future. However, that still does not take away from the fact that Horan did not take any risks with this project.

I did enjoy that the idea behind the album, since the lyrics did show that there was an actual story behind it. It was interesting to see how it developed throughout the album since it seemed to be talking about one certain break-up.

“Heartbreak Weather” did disappoint but there are certain tracks that are worth discovering. Either way, these songs do not take away from some of the repetitive themes and not as unique sounds that were portrayed throughout the album.

  • Originality
  • Lyrics
  • Technical Quality
  • Enjoyment
  • Impact