While some fans are desperately trying to decipher Harry Styles’ new album, so much so that the joy of listening to the songs has been lost on trying to find out who the tunes are ‘secretly dedicated to’, we’re enjoying the fact that his solo album is finally here.
It seems like a long time coming for Harry, especially after speculation began months before he said anything himself about a solo music career. Fans knew about his role in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk early into One Direction’s hiatus, but Harry spent a lot of time perfecting his songs and his album before preparing to release it to the public.
This was the first time Harry was able to ‘live with’ his music. It wasn’t rushed and recorded in and out of tour buses and it wasn’t ‘edited’ to fit someone else’s idea of what a hit sounds like. Harry wrote the album for himself, as a fan of music, and he is happy with the finished product. That was what was most important to him this time around.
The album is something Harry is proud of, it’s a collection of songs he enjoys listening to, and for his debut album, there’s nothing more we could have asked for as his fans. The excitement on Harry’s face when he talks about his solo music speaks volumes, his pride shines through, as it should.
All 10 songs on his debut self-titled album have a special purpose, but he won’t tell you what to conclude from the lyrics and their meaning. For Harry, the best part of music is that everyone can interpret songs the way they want to, they relate to the lyrics based on their own personal experiences. In a recent interview, he said he’d never want to hear that some of his favorite songs didn’t mean what he took them to mean, so he doesn’t want to do that to his own songs when it comes to his fans.
Instead, he allows the songs to speak for themselves, and speak for themselves they do.
One of our favorite songs on the album is ‘Woman’, a sexy tune that plays with the idea of being driven crazy and going crazier knowing you don’t want to walk away. ‘I’m selfish I know, I told you but I know you never listen.‘
Another one that stuck out to us is the recorded version of ‘Ever Since New York’. When he plays it live, it has a different experience than when you listen to it on the album. A song being multidimensional is important when it comes to staying power, and Harry’s songs are laced with that power.
‘Carolina’ is a tune…and it’s also one of the most speculated songs on the album. There is so much talk about who or what it’s about, that people are missing the fact that it’s an absolute powerhouse song. He howls as he sings, sounds vulnerable in a way that makes you see how passionate it is to be that honest, and on top of it all, it’s the perfect summer song.
He slows it down for songs like ‘Meet Me In The Hallway’ and ‘From The Dining Table’ and those are hard to listen to. Not because they aren’t fantastic, but because he lays the emotion out there so honestly that if you can relate to it too, those feelings come back into your own heart and you understand why he sounds so desperate.
Another song that exists in complete openness and vulnerability is ‘Two Ghosts’. Harry doesn’t do a lot of vocal editing on his album, but there are certain sounds and ways that he uses his voice on all of the tracks on the album except this one. This one is just Harry, it’s slow and it hurts but it’s beautiful.
‘Same lips red, same eyes blue, same white shirt, couple more tattoos
But it’s not you and it’s not me, tastes so sweet, looks so real
Sounds like something that I used to feel, but I can’t touch what I see’
The other songs on the album are wonderful too. His debut number 1 single, ‘Sign of the Times’ is a song that transcends. ‘Sweet Creature’ makes you want to dance (and it gives you butterflies), ‘Kiwi’ is an experience…we can’t describe it, you just have to hear it for yourself, and ‘Only Angel’ is not at all what we expected, but absolutely everything we needed.
If you’ve not yet listened, Harry’s album is available on iTunes, in stores, and special edition versions are available (in very limited qualities) so make sure to get yours soon. It’s an album that exceeds expectations in every sense of the word.
‘…but I knew him’