Flicker album analysis
So, I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and I really wanted to write it down, so I did. I felt like most of the songs on Niall’s album told a chronological story when you put them in a particular order, so I tried my best to figure out what order that would be and analyse what exactly the song means. The only songs I haven’t analysed in this are This Town, Slow Hands and Mirrors, because he said they weren’t personal and when you think about it, they totally fall outside the story anyways. I know this is long so I apologize in advance!
Seeing Blind: I put this song first because Niall describes knowing what love is because he’s read it in books and seen it in movies, but never really experienced it himself. Then he see this one person and he falls in love with them from a distance, he doesn’t think they will ever notice him but suddenly they do. The rest of the song talks about how that person finally made him experience love himself, but they’re so amazing he can’t believe they actually chose him.
Since we’re alone: This one is second because he describes already being in a relationship but the other person isn’t really open with him. He know they’ve been through some bad stuff, and he really want them to trust him because he knows it would make the two of them closer.
Fire away: This song basically has the same concept as Since we’re alone but I put it after that one because it feels like the two people in the relationship are closer here. The line ‘Hold me close but at a distance’ makes me feel like Niall was really close to someone in some ways, but he also knew this person was holding stuff back in other ways. He really thinks he can help his partner and he wants them to know that even if he doesn’t understand it, they can still talk to him about it.
You & me: At first I wanted to put this song after seeing blind because it seems like quite a happy song, but then I noticed there was already some issues going on in this relationship. Niall describes how his life is selfish and that they don’t have a lot of time, but he knows that if his partner has a bit of patience with him it will be alright. It also once again talks about how he knows his partner is not feeling good, but he’s telling her not to worry because in the end the both of them will be together. In this song he fully believes the relationship will be fine because they love each other.
The tide: I feel like this describes the first signs of his relationship failing, and he’s frightened about it because he loves this person a lot. ‘Those brown eyes, crying in a crowded bar.’ It feels like they’ve had one of their first fights, maybe about the other person not sharing enough with him since that’s one of the main themes of this album. It also feels like when that fight broke out, they both started oversharing, maybe his partner finally told him what was bothering them. The lines ‘Cause I’m needing you to understand, when I go all I ever seem to fear is that you’re gonna find someone and slowly watch me disappear.’ Makes me feel like what this person hasn’t been telling him is that they struggle with him never being there, but that when he’s gone he’s always worried they might find someone else. And basically, throughout the song he’s just begging this person not to leave him and fight for their relationship.
Flicker: I was a bit scared analysing this song because I know how much it means to him and I don’t want to say something that doesn’t make sense. I hope all of you know this is just my interpretation and I’m not in any way implying that whatever I said about any of the songs is 100% true. Anyways, this song feels like Niall and his partner had another fight earlier, one that was basically the last straw. But then it calmed down and they ended up lying on the couch together, he didn’t realise until then that their relationship would probably be over after that. Niall starts thinking about how it was when he just met this person, how their relationship took off and how happy that made him. He wants to try and hold on to that, and it basically gives him that small bit of fake hope that it’s not the end for them and just like in The Tide, he’s begging this person to please not leave him because he loves them so much. But then in the bridge I feel like he talks about that feeling of being on the edge of a breakup just hurts so much, he wishes it would all just be over.
Too much to ask: Niall himself said that this song is what happened after the evens of Flicker, so I had to put it here and it makes total sense. It feels like this was really shortly after their breakup (Only yesterday we were on the run). This song talks about the early stages of heartbreak, when the only thing you can think of is your ex, and everything you see reminds you of them. You think they could walk in at any moment and make up with you. And that’s what Niall wants in this. He hopes the person he broke up with starts regretting their decision and all he’s asking is for them to think about it for a little longer because he still loves them with everything he has.
Paper Houses: In this song he also talks about heartbreak, but it seems like here it’s been a little longer since it happened. He basically talks about the reason they broke up. His relationship had lots of ups and downs, at one point they could be on top of the world and at another at the bottom of the ocean. He wanted to fight for it so badly because he knew he wasn’t going to find love like that again any time soon. In this song he’s just starting to get over it a little bit. ‘So turn your head and let us go, I learned to breathe on my own.’ He even tells the other person they should just let it go, and he first realises here that he’s going to be okay on his own.
On the loose: To be honest, I’m not entirely sure if this song is about the same story as the rest of the songs, but it could be and it’s not too hard to fit it in. I feel like this is about months after the breakup where he realised some things about his partner, and that they aren’t so perfect as he thought they were. This person was someone who basically messed with his mind, he loved them so much he kept falling for their tricks. They would always tell him he’s the only person they love, but then when something went a little wrong in their relationship they’d have a new partner in a matter of seconds. He’s over it in this song though and he’s warning other people about his ex in this song.
On my own: I put this one last because I feel like here he’s finally 100% okay with being single. He realised it has a lot of great advantages like, having drinks with your mates whenever you want, sleeping for as long as you want, etc. He prefers all of these things over being in a relationship. Then he sees this attractive person who he likes and it’s not like he wouldn’t have a little fun with that, but he doesn’t want anything serious anymore. ‘Your company’s fine, but I get on better with mine.’ Basically says that he loves being around other people, and he doesn’t mind the attention but there’s nothing he loves more than being on his own.