Release Date: Oct 20, 2017
Record label: Capitol
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Teen Pop
More than a year after his group, One Direction, went on hiatus, Irish singer/songwriter Niall Horan became the third 1D member to release a solo studio full-length. Whereas Zayn Malik took his R&B talents into the bedroom and Harry Styles modeled himself after iconic rock frontmen of old, Horan went in a decidedly safer, center-lane direction on the yearning Flicker. Paying homage to classic rock influences like Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, and Dire Straits, Horan contemporized those bands' sounds with pop flair, resulting in an immensely soothing and enjoyable record that fits nicely alongside those of Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes.
While Harry Styles cracked jokes and Liam Payne handled the polite stage patter - "Guys, thanks so much for coming!" - Niall Horan seemed to spend a large portion of One Direction's live shows with his head down, playing guitar. So it felt authentic last year when the Irishman said he was working on a folk-pop album inspired partly by Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. That album actually begins with a chugging pop-rock tune called 'On The Loose' that sounds a bit like The Police crossed with Maroon 5.
I t would appear that at some point towards the end of their career as the World's Biggest Boyband, One Direction were quietly ushered into a room and told they had to face the future. A hat of some description was solemnly produced and the band members told to draw lots from it, in order to see which one would pursue which standard post-boyband solo career. Zayn Malik got "attempt to reinvent yourself as a credible R&B artist".