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Harry Style’s New Era

A review of Harry Styles' new album

Katie Thompson, Opinion Editor

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If you haven’t heard of Harry Styles by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock. Probably the most famous member of the now dissolved British boy band One Direction, Harry Styles’ new album has been the object of rampant speculation for the past few months. I’ll admit that as a closet One Direction fan, I’ve been looking forward to this moment for nearly a year. If you haven’t kept up with the “post-1D” scene, maybe you don’t  know that Styles’ album has come out. In general, the promotion for Harry Styles, his self-titled album, has been rather low key.  Many industry professionals and the general public agreed that Styles’ new album could be the product of trying too hard to diverge from his pop band status quo. Fortunately, Styles’ album  has the feeling of being created by someone who knows exactly what they want and what type of artist they want to be.

 

What does it sound like?

Harry Styles is very obviously inspired by old rock bands, which Styles has repeatedly said is his favorite type of music. This album definitely doesn’t have the type of music that typically dominates top 40 charts, and sounds vaguely like something you would hear on a throwbacks radio station. Despite that, it doesn’t sound like he’s imitating any other artist or song. It doesn’t sound like a Rolling Stones song or a Fleetwood Mac song, but rather like a song that would comfortably fit in with them, that wouldn’t seem out of place. Overall, the album is very sonically cohesive and has a very different feel than anything that One Direction has come out with.

What about the actual songs?

One unique thing about this album is its length. The total runtime of the ten songs is 40 minutes, rather short for a pop album. However, what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Harry Styles is full of those kinds of songs that on first listen are catchy and fun to listen to, but the lyrics get better with each replay. Because Styles opted for a more classic style of music, his album seems very fresh and doesn’t have the same feel as a lot of popular artists. Recently, I’ve been getting the sense that some artists churn out music for the sake of it existing, without much thought or soul behind it (Swalla by Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj, and Ty Dolla $ign  However, with Harry Styles, one gets the sense that each song was laboriously constructed, each guitar riff and bassline poured over. My one criticism is that many of his songs don’t tend to have a climax point. They build build and build, but never quite get to that one high note or epic guitar solo. I especially feel this loss in “Ever Since New York”. Despite this, Styles’ songs are pleasant to listen to, and are interesting listen after listen.

 

What’s his inspiration behind the music?

Harry has drawn a lot of inspiration from interesting places for his songs. Styles stated that he tried to write his lead-off single “Sign of the Times” from the perspective of a pregnant woman dying as she’s giving birth to her first child. Pretty crazy stuff. Harry also said that he was inspired by Brexit, which seems rather bizarre before and after you listen to the album, but props to him for trying to make a political statement. As you can see, Harry’s inspiration all over the place, but he has said that he really wants to leave the meaning for other people to determine for themselves, so that they can connect with it. What a great sentiment, but with wacky but also deep inspiration like pregant woman, I want Harry to reveal all.

I don’t like One Direction, should I give Harry Styles a listen?

Obviously, Styles is already going to have a large fan base left over from his One Direction days, but many people probably will shy away from Styles’ latest album because of his boyband past. But if you’re one of those people, I would highly recommend listening to it.From songs like “Carolina”, which is vaguely reminiscent of the Beatles to “From the Dinner Table”, a melancholy and soothing tune, this album is kind of like the opposite of what we all expected from Harry Style’s first release. Honestly though, I already want more.

 

Best Song?

I enjoyed Woman and From the Dinner Table the most.

 

Best Lyric?

Why won’t you ever be the first one to break?/ Even my phone misses your call

 

Clever

 

Overall Rating?

I give Harry Styles by Harry Styles 4.5/5 stars.

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Harry Style’s New Era