Niall Horan ‘The Show’ reviews: He ‘just gets better and better’ on his 3rd and ‘finest’ album

One Direction alum Niall Horan as yet hasn’t enjoyed the industry and media plaudits of his former bandmate Harry Styles, who just a few months ago won the Grammy for Album of the Year, but Horan is nevertheless having a pretty good spring. He won “The Voice” in his first season on that singing competition show, and on June 9 he released his third solo studio album “The Show” to strong early notices from critics.

As of this writing “The Show” has a score of 83 on MetaCritic based on six reviews counted thus far: four positive and two mixed, but none outright negative. That’s way ahead of his 2017 solo debut “Flicker” (64 based on five reviews) and his 2020 follow-up “Heartbreak Weather” (63 based on eight reviews). Is this indeed the best of his career so far?

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Neil Z. Yeung (AllMusic) writes, “With each subsequent album, Horan just gets better and better. ‘The Show’ is his most immediate and engaging set to date, endlessly listenable and full of heart and charm.” Roisin O’Connor (The Independent) calls him one of One Direction’s “most naturally gifted songwriters,” adding that his “emotional acuity, his musicianship, and confidence in his own instincts are there for all to see.”

Rob Sheffield (Rolling Stone) agrees that the singer-songwriter “elevates his game with ‘The Show,’ his third and finest album yet.” Hannah Sinclair (Clash) echoing familiar sentiments, calls it his “finest and most mature album to date,” on which he “explores deeper meanings.” Caitlin Chatterton (The Line of Best Fit) is more critical though, arguing that the set is actually “hampered by its predictability,” while Poppie Platt (The Telegraph) thinks he “doesn’t fully manage” to find his own sound, though “other than Styles, it’s evident he has the most promising future outside of One Direction.”

What do you think? Does “The Show” deserve to reach the same heights as Styles’s “Harry’s House” and beyond?

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