It’s been a long while since I have anticipated an album as much as I have this one. Harry Styles debut album has been on my radar long before I knew anything about it. I enjoyed my time on the fringe of liking One Direction and it wasn’t until Made in the AM that I was fully into it.
Then came the hiatus and the long, long wait for Harry’s much-anticipated solo debut began. I had every kind of concept of album floating in my head for what I thought this would be and let me tell you he ticked every single box and then some.
He made his comeback with his debut single Sign Of The Times that is stunningly epic. It broke all the molds of modern Top-40 music and it’s exactly what I was expecting him to do and what I was hoping for. Clocking it at almost six minutes it’s like nothing else out there at the moment.
The full album (which fans have affectionately dubbed The Pink Album) is a perfect blend of heavy rock (Kiwi, Only Angel), a masterpiece ballad (Sign Of The Times), sappy sweet (Sweet Creature), sexy (Woman), and downright vulnerable (From The Dining Table).
The leadoff Meet Me In The Hallway is a bit trippy and gives you the sense that a lava lamp should be going in the corner as you listen to it. The lyrics are gut-wrenchingly depressing but it’s the perfect opener for an album that’s so diverse.
Midway through Only Angel offers an instrumental interlude before breaking into something straight out of the 70s (complete with cowbell). It’s surely a song that would make Jagger himself proud and it never lets up for four straight minutes. It’s easily a favorite for me.
Styles self-titled album is a rollercoaster of emotions from a man who is coming into his own as a singer and most importantly a songwriter. It’s painfully obvious that he wasn’t being held back by anyone in terms of content on the album. Kiwi itself is sex, drugs, and rock and roll wrapped into a raucous and unapologetic 3:00 minute banger. The heavy punk influences in Kiwi also might not get a lot of credit but they are there and they are killer.
Speaking of that rollercoaster one of the standouts on the album for me comes in the form of Ever Since New York, which follows Kiwi. It’s almost as if you get a moment to catch your breath but lyrically the song just hits me hard. It’s a stunningly soft and open song that will leave you feeling just a bit wistful and lonely.
Woman will make you want to just get down and groove with guitars that I can’t describe as anything other than sexy. Two Ghosts is a complete indie sound with lyrics like “we’re just two ghosts standing where we used to be” it will resonate with anyone feeling a little heartbroken and nostalgic about the past.
From The Dining table hits peak vulnerability to round out and finish the record. It’s decidedly soft with only Styles’ vocals and an acoustic guitar to accompany him. It’s raw, honest, and one of my very favorite songs.
This self-titled debut is one I won’t long forget. Cheesy as it may sound I feel privileged to be here at the start of something amazing for someone so talented who may not have gotten his due just from being in a boyband previously. I’m certain people will listen to this and be more than a little surprised. At the risk of him sounding full of himself after his single dropped he said that this was is favorite album to listen to at the moment. Now I can say the same thing because I can’t see myself turning this album off for a long while.
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