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The Good and the Bad: Heartbreak Weather

Heartbreak Weather brings so many different things to the table and can be enjoyed by any and everyone. Personally I like most of it but there are definitely parts that I didn’t like so much. With songs like the title track and ‘No Judgement’ how can you go wrong? Niall Horan’s sophomore album definitely shows a lot of growth from his One Direction days and I’m very impressed.

Track 1- Heartbreak Weather

The first track starts with a very catchy and retro styled song. “Heartbreak Weather” is very true to Niall’s writing style with meaningful lyrics but, strays from the actual music we best know him for. This song is very upbeat and reminds me of a happy montage scene in your favorite rom-com. (Not a bad thing at all.) It’s overall a good song with a very cool guitar part and bridge that builds you up. I was surprised to find that it was not a heartbreak song like I was expecting but a love song. This will be on my playlist for quite a while and I won’t be shocked to hear it in public.

Track 2- Black and White

My personal favorite song on the album. “Black and White” though very repetitive pulls at your heartstrings with lyrics like “There will never be another, I promise I will love you for the rest of your life.” This song outlines what Horan pictures his life to look like in the future and fans are living for it. With his smooth vocals and the buildup through the song It is definitely a bop afterall Ed Sheeran co-wrote it so what else is to be expected. I, very vividly remember hearing it for the first time; I was doing some spring yard-work. It came on and I just stopped and closed my eyes, taking it it. It’s most definitely a bop with it’s  hopeless romantic theme.

Track 3- Dear Patience

The Third song on the album “Dear Patience” is more of what we expect from Horan with it’s softer vocals and less instrumental complexity. There is defiantly a pattern with most of the lyrics starting with “Dear Patience” as if he’s writing a letter. Whoever he was writing to is especially lucky. I mean, who wouldn’t want a letter from Niall Horan?!? The song is light and airy and seems like it would be a good addition to any ‘sad vibes’ playlist. I like that the song seems to shape shift and doesn’t settle on a particular sound, the outro specifically layered itself beautifully.

Track 4- Bend The Rules 

The first thing I had written about this song was “This is Niall Horan singing?” I think that explains how I feel about the song. Horan’s voice had less of it’s normal tone by which you can hear his accent, and more of a clear tone with less pronounced syllables. It sounded almost like a country song?  I will give him props for the tone change because it is something I’m personally working on with singing, and have been for quite a while due to it’s complexity. Overall it was remarkable similar to  the hit from his first solo album “Too Much to Ask.”  My initial surprise aside, it’s very different than what I’m used to from Horan but I could get used to it for it’s not a bad thing.

Track 5- Small Talk 

The fifth track on Heartbreak Weather “Small Talk” starts out pretty mellow and quiet but as soon as the chorus hits it quickly switches. The chorus quickly implements a strong beat and very rock guitar riff. I even caught myself tapping my foot and bobbing my head along with the beat. (A very impressive feat for a song to accomplish.)  You can tell that it was designed to be avant garde, especially after a song like “Bend The Rules.” Overall I would say it’s definitely aimed toward a different audience than usual but is most certainly a bop.

Track 6- Nice to Meet Ya* 

“Nice to Meet Ya” was the first single Horan put out for his album. He premiered it on SNL on December 14th only to perform it in front of a crowd for the first time the next day. He actually performed it at the KISS 108 Jingle Ball in Boston which I had the opportunity and good fortune to have been at. The confident versus and the 2000’s styled chorus pair very well with each other. The song is overall very catchy and was most certainly designed to be a chart topper so to no surprise it quickly gained popularity. It’s a perfect addition to this album and I can’t go for a drive without hearing it play on the radio! I just hope it is not overplayed which would turn this bop into a flop.

Track 7- Put a Little Love On Me*

The seventh track on Horan’s Sophomore album is quite different than the track prior. “Put a Little Love On Me” is, similar to “Dear Patience” very true to what we have come to expect from Horan. This single quickly became a smash hit with it’s dreary and lustful lyrics. The simple piano part plays nicely with Horan’s rich vocals and would be a good followup to “This Town” off of Horan’s first album; “Flicker.” This may be an unpopular opinion but I do think this song is lyrically cheesy and does not really give me the emotional depth that I was expecting. To me the whole song is just in the middle not quite what I had imagined for it but not terrible.

Track 8- Arms of A Stranger 

“Arms of A Stranger” most definitely tells a story with lyrics like “Just trying to get over you” and “You left me with nothing, why do I think of you?” My favorite part of the song was the chorus where Horan’s voice get’s a little bit raspy which compliments the song even more. Overall it’s good to listen to in the background while doing your homework. There really is not too much else to say about the song but if I was to rate it I’d give it a 3/5.

Track 9- Everywhere

Track 9 is very upbeat with a simple yet refreshing melody that remind me of 2014. At the very end Horan goes of on a little bit of a riff spree hitting some relatively high notes that I’ll give him props for. Though this song isn’t anything new or dare I say relatively creative it will be on my playlist purely for the nostalgia factor.

Track 10- Cross Your Mind

This song started with a rather strange introduction but as soon as the main melody was introduced it all fit. The chorus fits perfectly with the main melody due to it’s poetic lyrics like: “Tell me that you love me but I know you out there running wild.”  From there the bridge gets very repetitive and ‘poppy’ but I know that it’s gonna be stuck in my head. Overall I honestly don’t know if I like it or not due to my confusion.

Track 11- New Angel

The eleventh track on Heartbreak Weather; “New Angel’s” first chord progression reminds me of the first chord progression in Friends by Anne-Marie and Mashmello but with a snap pattern. The song also gave me ‘Harry Styles vibes’  which was unexpected. With lyrics like “I don’t know what’s best for be but maybe I need a new angel to save myself” the song is very powerful yet, short.

Track 12- No Judgement* 

‘No Judgement’ quickly became one of the more popular releases on the album. I had written that it reminded me of the previous track ‘New Angel’ in another key and upon taking  a second listen I do have to say the two songs are remarkably similar. I do like the very positive lyrics in this track though, things like: “We don’t need to prove nothing…We both got nothing to hide… I hope we never change… When you’re with me, no judgement.” I can see how this song gained popularity and give it a thumbs up.

Track 13- San Francisco 

Right from the soundtrack of your favorite Rom Com ‘San Francisco’ is a fitting song. It has such a good buildup and you can feel the longing in Horan’s voice. “Kiss you like the first time… wanna let all my defenses down.” It’s not quite my favorite so, I would most likely skip it if listening to the whole album again. I believe if I were to watch a cheesy Rom – Com and this song came on I may like it better.

Track 14- Still 

The final track on Horan’s sophomore album is very pure and makes me very nostalgic. I like it due to it’s pure sound with a little country twinge to it. “If honesty means telling you the truth then I’m still in love with you” was my favorite lyric from the song. The bridge with it’s added harmonies make it very heartfelt and the emotional depth that was lacking in earlier songs is very present. The closing track did exactly what I wanted it to do and tied the whole album together.

Hello! My name is Hannah Bennett, and I am a Junior here at BHS. This is my first year as the Public Outreach Coordinator and my third year writing for Unleashed. Other than writing I am a second degree black belt in American Kenpo Karate, and I partake in Theatre productions here at BHS. I am looking forward to a great year!

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