“Heartbreak Weather,” the second solo studio album from ex-One Direction member Niall Horan. It comes three years after 2017’s “Flicker,” Horan’s first solo album.
Horan’s musical career began on the X Factor, when he was grouped with four other contestants to create pop boyband One Direction. When One Direction broke up in 2015, all five members went their separate ways and began solo careers.
While some members turned to pop or indie rock, Horan’s solo music has been heavily influenced by folk and rock, even some country.
“Heartbreak Weather” is an album about the course of a relationship and the varying emotions that come with changing feelings about another person. Through the album, Horan thinks about love shifting through time, which can sometimes result in heartbreak towards the end of the album.
The first song on the album bears the same title as the album and describes the beginning of a relationship: the sparks and the excitement as two people feel invincible together. Chemistry is the most important aspect at this stage of the relationship and the album.
As the album continues, it’s clear that the physical aspect of the relationship isn’t enough, and in songs like “Small Talk” and “Dear Patience,” Horan suggests that maybe he needs more depth of connection.
“Heartbreak Weather” reads like a diary or the beginning of a romance novel. Horan fights feelings of genuine love at the beginning, then soon realizes how much the love interest means to him, but eventually gets hurt in the end as reality sets in.
Horan himself has talked about how he wanted this album to show all the emotional aspects of a relationship and subsequent breakup. These are complicated feelings, and they need different types of songs to be fully illustrated in all their complexity.
It’s not just about being happy in a relationship and being sad in a breakup. It’s about jealousy, laughter, helplessness, excitement, revenge, hurt and love underneath it all.
It’s about falling in love so completely that you become victim to all the emotions that come with it, not fighting against the good and the bad.
Towards the end of “Heartbreak Weather,” Horan feels helpless to the overwhelming love he has for the love interest of the album, shown in songs like “Cross Your Mind” and “New Angel.”
The album culminates with two songs: “San Francisco” and “Still,” both of which give us an insight to Horan’s feelings after the breakup. Feelings of regret and wanting to be back in the relationship are the overwhelming feelings at the end of “Heartbreak Weather.”
Between the slower songs and the more upbeat, dance-able songs, Horan gives listeners an accurate representation of the journey that is being both in but also out of a relationship. It’s not easy, but Horan provides a picture of the complexity that comes with these feelings.