This article originally appeared on Noisey US
Well, well, well. They do say it's always the quiet ones. When a post-Zayn One Direction went on a hiatus last year (likely never to return, or at least not for a long time), everyone had Harry Styles pegged as the star of the remaining four – the one who would make the biggest splash when the members inevitably launched solo careers.
Certainly, Harry's solo return was massively anticipated, and with an album due Friday 12 May the jury's still out. But the songs we've heard so far – the lukewarm "Sign of the Times," and more recently, "Sweet Creature" – feel like little more than David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac impersonations respectively, and it's starting to seem like perhaps the hype might not be justified after all.
Enter: Niall Horan. Everyone's third- or fourth-favourite 1D member bolted out of the gate early last September, when he became the first of the bandmates to release his own material. The song was "This Town," and it sounded pretty much like any of One Direction's slower tracks, and it was Just OK. But today, Niall has released "Slow Hands" – unfortunately not an Interpol cover – and...what's that? It slaps???
Yeah, I'm more shocked than anyone, but I did also have kind of a sneaking suspicion that the real 1D success story might come from someone we didn't expect. And yes, though Harry could sell thousands of records regardless of what his music sounded like, and though Zayn's easily the most vocally talented of the group (his most recent track "Still Got Time" is especially good), "Slow Hands" is the slightly more mature pop banger I've been dying for a former Direction to drop for months. It's about sex!
While I will admit that I spent more than a few mournful moments thinking about what this song might have been like had it belonged to Harry (my conclusion? Literally amazing), it's a storming second effort from Niall, and all of a sudden I'm a lot more interested in what the Irishman will do in the future.
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(Image via YouTube)