Okay, so I know what your thinking, “really Harry Styles?” but just bare with me for a minute. The dude can sing, to be honest every time I heard a One Direction song all I could hear was Harry’s voice, it’s strong, stylistic and always present. Yeah so he was in the money making teen sensation One Direction, but this guy had his own style long before he joined that group. When he was a kid he grew up on The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Queen and David Bowie, some of the all time greats of rock and pop. So when I found out that he was releasing a solo album I knew I would want to check it out, hoping he used his early influences.
I wasn’t disappointed, and one reason is a lot of these songs probably won’t be heard on the radio, and that’s awesome! It’s straight to the point rock or soft rock reminiscent of David Bowie or Billy Joel with some hard hitting tracks along with soft folk. You’ve got the song that everyone knows, Sign Of The Times, which has been played way too many times on the radio. It’s a good song with that uplifting chorus but it does tend to get repetitive after a few listens.
Songs I reckon people need to check out are Kiwi, this is one of the more rock tracks on the album that focuses on a wild girl that Harry can’t get out of his head. Sex, drugs and rock and roll it’s all present here and I love it, curious as to whether he draws from real life experiences. Carolina is another track to check out, a bit more of a groove song, with a fun chorus that is about another girl that Harry obsesses over.
A big theme of the album is about relationships and the loss and longing for someone else. There’s no gloating songs about fame, wealth and status, which is a nice change from other 1D member Liam Payne‘s new song Strip That Down. There’s also some good soft folk orientated songs like Sweet Creature (which I’m sure will get over played on the radio) and Ever Since New York. Which I reckon blends nicely with the sharper and loud tracks mentioned before. The other songs on this album you can take them or leave them, nothing else really stands out.
I’ll be interested to know how the young girls who love One Direction will feel about this album as it’s completely in a whole other world. It’s better than what the other stooges of that popular boy group are doing! Is this album amazing? No. Is it fun to listen to? Yes. It’s not exactly full of genre defining songs or generational anthems, but it’s got songs that you can tap your toes to, scream out loud or hum to. If you are gonna check this out, go in fresh, take all perceived opinions on One Direction and Harry Styles and leave them behind. It’s a sound not for everyone but if you like pop rock with a bit of style (no pun intended), then have a listen.