Harry Styles: an album review

The+self+titled+album%2C+Harry+Styles%2C+was+released+on+Friday+May+12.+%0A
The self titled album, Harry Styles, was released on Friday May 12.

The self titled album, Harry Styles, was released on Friday May 12.

Photo courtesy of grazia.com.au

Photo courtesy of grazia.com.au

The self titled album, Harry Styles, was released on Friday May 12.

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On Friday May 12, people all over the world were introduced to a new side of former One Direction member Harry Styles, when he released his first solo album, Harry Styles.

Styles, 23, is the first of the four members of One Direction to release a solo album after the boyband went on a indefinite hiatus at the end of 2015.

Although Styles has talked in length about how much he enjoyed his time in One Direction, he was excited to write the kind of music that he wanted, without needing to take input from his other band members.

“Every decision I’ve made since I was 16 was made in a democracy,” said Styles in a Rolling Stone interview, “I felt like it was time to make a decision about the future…and maybe I shouldn’t rely on others.”

The 10 songs on Harry Styles tell lyrical stories that Styles was not able to tell during his time in One Direction. While One Direction’s sound was primarily pop with some slight rock influences, Harry Styles has a much older sound, as Styles said himself that he wanted to make an album that reflected the influences he had from the sixties, seventies, and eighties while still sounding modern.

The album is a mix of multiple genres, from rock to pop to indie to acoustic. With softer, slower songs like Meet Me in the Hallway and From the Dining Table, and songs with a more upbeat sound like Carolina and Only Angel, there’s something for everyone on this album.

The lead single of the album, Sign of the Times, came as a shock to many long time One Direction fans that were eagerly awaiting solo music from Styles. The song is a powerful rock ballad with lyrics up to interpretation, given that Styles has not specifically spoken about the meaning behind the single. The music video features Styles floating around in the air, perhaps to show that he is finally free to put out the music he wants to now that One Direction is taking a break from touring together.

One of the few slower songs, Two Ghosts, tells more of a straightforward story of a failed relationship. The lyrics “we’re not who we used to be / we’re just two ghosts standing in the place of you and me” suggest that the two partners feel as if they don’t even know each other anymore. Fans have speculated that this song may be about Taylor Swift, who was romantically linked with Styles in late 2012.

The song Ever Since New York is, once again, left up to interpretation by fans as the meaning behind the lyrics isn’t very clear. However, that’s one of the many reasons why the album has been so successful, because fans of all ages as able to find their own meaning in each song. Ever Since New York shows off a different sound than what is normally played on that radio, showing that Styles is clearly making music for himself and not to gain popularity.

A final highlight from the album is Woman, which begins with a spoken word introduction about searching up romantic comedies on Netflix. The lyrics don’t have much to them, in the sense that they are very repetitive throughout the entire chorus. The slow instruments, featuring a steady drum beat and piano which perfectly showcase Styles’ new live band, are what makes the song a standout on the album.

Overall, the album is perfectly diverse, with a set of 10 songs that spread over multiple genres, showing that Styles is capable of producing much more than the music he worked on with One Direction.

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