On October 20, Niall Horan released his first solo album since One Direction split in 2016. When he released to the public that he was in the studio, most fans were wondering what the album would sound like. Since Harry Styles, one of the four other bandmates in One Direction, released an album in May of 2017, Horan’s album to-be was put into the shadows.

After spending over a year and a half in the studio, “Flicker” was crafted. Horan broke the norms by releasing three different singles almost four months apart from each other. He explained in a backstage documentary on Apple Music that he wanted to release his album slowly and wanted his fans to enjoy every single for what it was. He kept the album release secret — he would only tell the press that the album would be out during the late autumn months.

The day finally came on October 20 when “Flicker” was released to the world. He claimed to the media that this album was the first time he truly expressed his feelings into an album, and it surely worked in his favor.

This album contains multiple songs expressing heartbreak in the most beautiful of lyrics. The song that the album was named after, “Flicker,” is a ballad that takes your breath away. It expresses the slow dimming light in a relationship and allows you to travel through memories of the brightness in the beginning of a relationship. He expresses how he still wants the relationship to continue because he still has a flicker of light in his heart for her.

The album also contains songs that are influenced by American rock, folk and jazz music. It has been praised for being something completely different than what anyone expected. Horan used his talents to create an album that can be enjoyed by a number of different music lovers.