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Niall Horan drips all over his dirty laundry on new song ‘Slow Hands’

The Mullingar boy's new single shows he’s all about the more basic things in life

Niall Horan, who has released Slow Hands, the second single from his debut solo album. Photograph: Mike Coppola/Getty

Let’s take stock of those One Direction boys shall we?

Zayn is a fully fledged member of the New Hollywood set, he’s a moodier edgier Nick Jonas, writing dark, harsh sub-Weeknd tracks about the genetically blessed sexy funtimes he’s having with Gigi Hadid.

Harry Styles lives in a patchouli-scented world populated by the right kind of movers and shakers, he’s getting avant garde, he’s getting woke, he’s sounding a bit like MGMT and wearing Mick Jagger’s old hair, he’s your secondary school boyf gone off to art college.

Louis is somewhere waiting and plotting for the right time to launch his razzamatazz comeback like a showbiz veteran. Liam just had a baby with Cheryl Tweedy-Cole-Fernandez-Versini-Bonina-Brown who they chose to call Bear Payne. Liam has his own problems.


Then there’s our dear old Niall, like a wide-eyed boy blissed out on his J1 he’s trying out all kinds of American ‘things’. He’ll always be the Kian Egan of One Direction. Whereas first single This Town was a folky affair, the kind of thing Mundy might have knocked out at 4am in a Whelan’s lock-in circa 1999, Slow Hands is something else altogether.

It’s no radical departure, Niall hasn’t decided to go Gaga (he’s more likely to go full GAA-GAA) but it’s a step in a more Sheeran-style, crowd-pleasing direction.

A gentle, foot-stomper about a lady with a magic touch, a lady who knows what she wants, she wants to get her hands all over Niall’s "dirty laundry" and not in a bringing your washing home on a Sunday way.  This isn’t Timberlake’s Sexy Back, it’s Horan’s Sweaty Back. 

Niall is all about the more basic things in life – straightforward, meat-and-two veg tunes. It’s John Mayeresque in its strumming simplicity and is a neat showcase for his smooth vocal stylings.

There’s nothing to get too excited about, but I guess that’s probably the way Niall likes it, pleasantly anodyne, it’s the Abercrombie and Fitch of pop songs.