We Review Niall Horan’s Debut Single


WWN’s music and culture correspondent Richard Head examines Niall Horan’s debut opus, and finds there is much to contemplate…

Frisson dances its way up my arm as goose bumps make their seasonal migration to the very core of my being. My heart pulsates like never before. My doctor warned me about this, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels. But it’s not that, well, maybe it is, maybe it is a heart attack, but what a way to go, listening to Niall Horan’s debut single ‘This Town’.

Already, my curiosity is piqued just by the title, why write about this town and not that town, but then again, I should have known better. Horan cut his teeth with hardcore aural experimentalists One Direction.

Production duties are handled by 47 Swedish lads, with the writing agonised over by a further 84 pop savvy Swedes and boy does it pay off.

This old cynic wasn’t prepared for what Niall Horan had committed to record, but as Leann Rimes famously sang ‘you can’t fight the moonlight’ (tragically Leanne tried and was beaten to a pulp by the moonlight, leaving in her a full body cast for 9 months).

While complete and utter phonies in the music review biz will work round the clock to find the best way to undermine the former One Directioner’s first single, I couldn’t describe it as a steaming pile of shit that was then eaten by maggots who were then eaten by a bird who was then eaten by a cat who was then suffocated by an elephant’s comically large shit. I couldn’t do that, even if I tried.

There are rare triumphs in the history of mankind when our collective knowledge pooled to produce something awe inspiring and great, and Niall’s new single now joins the ranks of the Pyramids, the A bomb and penicillin as one of the few truly great feats of human endeavour and genius.

The song starts with a bang, spasmodic beats more associated with Aphex Twin thunder through your ear drums, the sound of warped screams echo, and a thrash metal riff pops off like a missile launch but that’s just the beginning of the surprises.

Horan, in This Town’s video is seen completely bald, with a pentagram etched into forehead, reciting passages of occultist Aleister Crowley’s poetry.

Is it a departure from One Direction’s signature sound? No, of course not, but the lyrics mark Horan out as someone who isn’t going to offer up the same old same old.

“Beezlebub dwells within me, gimme all your money,” a brave opening salvo as Horan lays it out bare and confirms what was long speculated; he is the devil incarnate and wants to gorge on your money so you better hand it over.

5 stars.