“Heaven” by Niall Horan
The legacy of One Direction lives on. Even though that group has been on hiatus since 2016, all five of its members have ventured out to establish a name of their own. One of such individuals, Harry Styles, just won a Grammy in the popular category of Album of the Year for his 2022 outing “Harry’s House”.
And now, less than two weeks later, his former bandmate, Niall Horan, dropped “Heaven” on 17 February 2023, marking Niall’s first single since 2021.
Horan’s debut solo LP, “Flicker” (2017), did really well for itself, in that for example it topped the Irish Albums Chart and Billboard 200. His second studio album, “Heartbreak Weather” (2020), did not fare as well overall but did, unlike the first, top the UK Albums Chart.
Niall, due to his past associations and how successful One Direction has been, will always have a name in the music industry. But his third studio album, “The Show”, will really prove if he’s a commercially-viable soloist – a fact that Horan seemingly acknowledged publicly himself. And it is “Heaven” which is serving as the lead single for that project.
THE TEAM BEHIND “HEAVEN”
Niall Horan went the extra mile when he first began teasing this song, about a month before its release, by sending some of his fans a physical gift promoting it. This was done presumably with the backing of Capitol Records, i.e. the label behind “The Show”.
In writing this track, Horan teamed up with the following:
- Tobias Jesso Jr.
- John Ryan
- Joel Little
Niall already had an established working history, from his One Direction days, with John, and Tobias is someone he has composed regularly with as a soloist. And it was the two of them who took him to meet Joel, with Ryan and Little also producing Heaven.
A LOVER THAT “HEAVEN CAN’T HOLD A CANDLE TO”
This song does, to some degree, rely on religious terminology. But as far as the references to “heaven” go, the point being made is that the vocalist considers the addressee, the apple of his eye, as being so exceptional that, as expressed in the first verse, even “heaven can’t hold a candle to” her.
Niall has basically concluded that being with her is even superior to how it would feel to be in heaven. In the chorus he relays a similar sentiment, that if their relationship were to fail, “heaven won’t be the same”. What that would mean is something along the lines of truly being in paradise would also entail being alongside the addressee.
“God only knows where this could go
And even if our love starts to grow out of control
And you and me go up in flames
Heaven won’t be the same”
A LOVE SONG?
So yes dear reader, underneath all of the spiritual innuendos, if you will, what we are actually dealing with here, most simply interpreted, is a love song. But it is more complicated than what has been highlighted above.
By the looks of things this is a budding romance. The vocalist expressing his feelings to the addressee, apparently isn’t a mere puppy love kinda thing. His feelings are “beyond infatuation” and transcend into the realm of ‘obsessive adoration’.
And the reason it is important to point out that aspect of the narrative is because in the grand scheme of things, of course he doesn’t know if this relationship will work out or not. In fact, based on the pre-chorus especially, it appears that Niall may be under the impression that this person he’s falling in love with might be toxic. Or at the very least, he’s mentally exercising that possibility.
But more to the intended point, taking that “heaven won’t be the same” line into consideration and all, is that he’s willing to take the plunge nonetheless.
NIALL TALKS ABOUT “HEAVEN”
It should be noted that the way Horan himself has described this song really doesn’t have anything to do with romance. Instead, he explained this piece as being centered on the concept of “enjoying our lives and doing what feels right” versus “worrying about what might be expected of us”.
So reading in-between the lines, perhaps he’s implying that the addressee is someone others would not approve of him dating – perhaps, all things considered, even from a moral standpoint. But since he is indeed smitten, the vocalist has decided to cast such high-minded ideologies, i.e. “heaven”, aside.