On May 12th Harry Styles released his debut solo album.
His genre-bending, self-titled album left me pleasantly surprised. When first hearing the album’s main single, ‘Sign of The Times’, I was worried. It wasn’t what I expected from the ex-boy band singer in the slightest. It was different and I wasn’t completely head-over-heels about it like I had been for One Direction singles in previous years.
Styles goes from classic ballad type songs he’s know for, like ‘Two Ghosts’ and ‘Meet Me In The Hallway’, to modern rock ‘n’ roll masterpieces such as ‘Only Angel’ and ‘Kiwi’. Styles also includes a beautifully soft song titled ‘Sweet Creature’ which oddly feels like a sequel to one of One Direction’s most famous songs, ‘Little Things’. Before even getting to the end of the album, you want to listen to it all over again.
Styles’ lyrics remain vague yet relatable but with a subtly more mature theme. He comes across as a young man with genuine experiences, instead of some baby-faced teenager who only sings about a girl’s outer beauty. From the off, you can tell Styles is aware his pre-established audience has also grown up along side him.
Not only has the type of music that Styles creates changed, so has he. In his Rolling Stone interview, he comes across as a human being before anything else, instead of some manufactured dream boy. He no longer dresses like a real-life Ken Doll that has every word and movement chosen by someone who isn’t him. Even while being questioned about ex-partners and if they’ve inspired any of his music, – the thing he’s always been interrogated over – he comes across as someone you’d meet in a book shop or small cafe. Not the award winning pop star and unofficial ‘front man’ of One Direction. He talks of his process and his experience like any other singer or songwriter in the industry.
Harry Styles is a twenty-something year old man with his own taste and his own opinions on a whole range of topics.
Harry Styles has been reborn and it’s brilliantly refreshing.