Niall Horan – Too Much To Ask

“It’s even got some rude language!”

Tim: Track one was a pile of garbage, track two gave us a slight amount of hope for the album, and track three…

Tim: …is actually pretty damn good! And it’s even got some rude language!

Tom: Wait, really? It’s… “competent” is the word that comes to mind, and I think I mean that in the sense of Matt Cardle.

Tim: Matt Cardle’s a decent comparison, yeah, and while I’ll agree that it maybe didn’t deserve the exclamation mark, this is decidedly not the Niall I was thinking of when I said that This Town was exactly the sort of track I’d expect Niall to release. It’s a grown up, developed track rather than some melty pile of poo – it says “hello, I’m actually joining in this music scene that people who don’t just like me for being ‘the cute little nice one’ listen to”.

Tom: And I’m sure they’ll love him for it. But I can’t remember any of this track now it’s over, and I can’t remember having any sort of emotional reaction to it either.

Tim: Fair enough, though for me at least that’s a product of the genre – it’s still light guitar pop, and I don’t think he’ll move on from that at any point soon. At least it’s decent light guitar pop, though. FINALLY, Niall, you’ve done good.

Niall Horan – Slow Hands

“That’s an improvement.”

Tim: On Friday we wrote about Katy Perry going from a great track to a terrible track. Niall’s debut track, as we’ve already detailed, was utterly atrocious, which leads me, pleasingly, to be able to say that there’s only (wait for it) ONE DIRECTION (hahahahahahah you see it’s funny because he used to– yep– oh, you’ve got– okay, fine) he can go from there.

Tom: Well, like you guessed, that’s an improvement. I don’t think it’s all that good — it’s one of those songs where the middle eight is the best bit, which isn’t a great sign — but at least it’s not a dirge.

Tim: Indeed, and so the question on everybody’s lips is WHY THE HELL wasn’t that the lead single? This Town, deservedly, barely scraped the Top 10; it was beaten comprehensively by James Arthur, for God’s sake. This, on the other hand, is an enjoyable track, with life to it, a funky personality, and a happiness to hear it again.

Tom: I don’t think the phrase “funky personality” has been used outside early-90s episodes of Blind Date, but you’ve got a point there.

Tim: Apparently he wrote about 70 tracks for his new album, so hopefully he took the lesson from last time and will be binning off all the dreadful melty ballads in favour of lively music like this. Come on Niall, do the right thing.

Niall Horan – This Town (Tiësto Remix)

“Can it be saved?”

Tom: We agreed that This Town was sub-Sheeran, perhaps even sub-Odell. But can it be saved by Tiësto, the same way that Seeb saved Mike Posner?

Tom: No.

Tim: I weouldn’t say entirely not – it does come across a whole lot less melty, though, and so a fair amount more listenable. The parts with the instrumental focus don’t fit at all, though.

Tom: I will grant that the pre-chorus “I want to tell you everything” is still pleasant, but that’s because I’ve heard that motif a hundred times in other songs. The backing doesn’t really seem to work with… well, anything. The whole thing’s unnecessary, Tim.

Tim: Yes, but not entirely unappreciated.

Niall Horan – This Town

“It’s just so, so melty.”

Tom: So you said, yesterday, that this was disappointing. Let’s talk about that. I haven’t actually heard it, so I don’t know why…

Tom: …never mind, now I know.

Tim: It’s just so, so melty.

Tom: We don’t need a second Ed Sheeran. To be honest, I’d argue we don’t even really need one Ed Sheeran.

Tim: You’re saying Ed Sheeran? I’d lower this down to Tom Odell at points. It’s almost as bad as Little Things, One Direction’s worst track by a country mile.

Tom: I can’t remember any of it. I’ve listened through it now, and I can’t remember a word. Was there a chorus? Was there anything? I’ve no idea. It’s background music. Great voice, great guitar, just… why pick this one to start your solo career with?

Tim: Because he’s Niall – annoyingly, this is exactly the sort of track I’d think of if you’d said to me two weeks ago, “what sort of track would Niall release”. Zayn’s gone R’n’B, he’s done this, so I’ll predict now that Liam and Harry will both take the standard pop/rock (with Liam probably a bit rockier), and Louis…maybe a bit dancey, if he doesn’t go the TV presenting way?