Niall Horan’s solo career takes flight with the release of his debut album, “Flicker.”

By Sophia Muroff (’18)

As an avid One Direction fan of five years, the day that Niall Horan’s debut solo album was released was an extremely exciting one for me. After releasing three singles that sat on the Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, Flicker finally emerged on October 20. As a “Niall Girl,” I am proud to say that I thoroughly enjoyed “Flicker,” and the local “Directioners” at the San Diego Jewish Academy felt the same.

Tali Gold (‘20) and Gaby Wellman (‘20) definitely felt the surge of excitement as they listened to Flicker for the first time. Wellman (‘20) says that she felt “kind of weird” listening to the album for the first time because it has a different sound quality and she didn’t expect it.

Niall Horan sings a solo at the San Diego “On the Road Again Tour” show on July 9, 2015. (Photo: Sophia Muroff (’18))

I have had many of the same thoughts as Wellman (‘20) about the boys’ solo work. Horan’s music had a very different sound to the very pop-influenced music that he was making as a member of One Direction. Flicker was very guitar-centered and almost acoustic at times. I loved being able to hear Horan, the only One Direction member that publicly plays a musical instrument, show off his talent in Flicker, but it felt very country-like compared to what I’ve gotten used to in the five years that I’ve spent with One Direction.

Even though the contrast between Niall and One Direction’s work was startling to me, I found that I loved his new sound. Listening to his words about love and heartbreak showed me a new side of his personality. Tali Gold (‘20) was also moved by Horan’s music. “I cried the first time I heard it because the songs are sad and I get emotional with songs.”

My favorite song from Flicker is hands down “Slow Hands.” Its irresistible beat and catchy lyrics drew me in from the beginning. Choosing a single favorite song is conflicting. Gaby Wellman (‘20)  decided on “This Town.” Tali Gold (‘20) may seem more unique in her choice of favorite song, deciding that it’s a tie between “Seeing Blind” and “Flicker.” She enjoys the contrast between the two and says that “’Seeing Blind’ is more happy and fun and Flicker is a sad song.”

The vibe of Flicker is very different from anything One Direction ever made. Hearing something different from what I’m used to was an invigorating experience that made me think more about expanding my horizons when it comes to music. As much as I look forward to an eventual return of One Direction, I’m satisfied with the solo music that the individual members have released so far, and our local lioness “Directioners” are, too.


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