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Niall Horan Tries His Hand At A Concept Album

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By Melissa Weirick

With five years out of One Direction and one solo album (Flicker) under his belt, Niall Horan is ready to make waves in the pop scene - more waves than he already has, that is. He decided to do something that is rarely done in the genre - with his new creation, 'Heartbreak Weather', he made a concept album. Don't know what a concept album is? Don't worry. We've got you covered. Niall is on his way to show the world that he can hold his own as a solo act.

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Niall's newest album, Heartbreak Weather, is due for release on March 13th of this year. The topic of the album revolves around what a lot of albums tend to focus on - a breakup. But Niall didn't want this album to be like every other sappy, 'poor-me' breakup album out there. While at iHeartRadio, he said, “When I started, [I was] like, ‘How do I write a break-up album that doesn’t sound sobby throughout, and really selfish?’ So I just wrote down the phrase ‘heartbreak weather,’ I don’t know where it came from.”

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Balance is important to the Irish singer/songwriter. "I just started thinking, I can write songs here from all the different angles of a break-up, not from my side… the happy side, the egotistical side, like [my song] ‘Nice To Meet Ya.’” But there's even more to it than that. He tacked on, “then there’s the sad ones, and the “No Judgement” type vibes, and I was trying to think how I could do that. So ‘Heartbreak Weather’ kind of summed the album up for me.” So, the title for the entire album came from a random phrase that popped into his head.

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So what qualifies 'Heartbreak Weather' as a concept album? First of all, the definition of a concept album is one where every song is connected in a way which a narrative is clear. The album tells a story. And Niall has done just that with his latest. “With Heartbreak Weather, I wanted to tell the story that was in my head, hopefully lead people down the storytelling lane of an album track listing versus just ‘I’m gonna skip to the next one.’

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Concept albums are pretty much unheard of in the pop world. They're more commonly associated with classic rock - but some could argue that Niall gives off that vibe. Not necessarily with every song that he sings, but with his presence in general. He broke onto the scene with One Direction, but has a lasting quality that is hard to find in current male pop stars. And not only can he write a soulful ballad, he can also put on quite a show - which he's looking forward to doing during his upcoming tour. "We can put a good show on together and really make the Nice To Meet Ya Tour a big spectacle and something that people will enjoy because I’m going to be putting a billion percent in every night to make sure of that.”

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Niall's may not be the face that pops up in everyone's mind when they think "One Direction star." At least, not yet. He spent a while backpacking in Asia and coming up with songs while he was there - now, he's back and writing with a vengeance. "It feels natural. I'm not trying to write anything crazily in particular. Just, like, this is what I write, the way, the way I most naturally write." With the amount of ambition and heart he's put into 'Heartbreak Weather,' Niall seems to be giving his old bandmates a run for their money.

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