Harry Styles seems to be dominating the music industry, the world and the universe all at once in the past month. From dropping his first piece of individual material in the form of ‘Sign of the Times’ up until the pivital moment last Friday when his debut self titled album was released hitting the number 1 spot in over 80 countries across the globe and even exceeding vinyl sales with his limited edition white vinyl selling out almost immediately upon pre-order sales clearly following in the footsteps of his 29 date headline tour completely wiping the boards with tickets snapped up in under a minuet time frame. Of course with the album now available promo, press, pr and performance season is happening with Harry going on to doing a second radio appearance at BBC Radio 1 As well as heading to America to perform on the Today show during the albums release week and back again to the UK to make appearances on the One Show.
‘Harry Styles’ – Harry Styles Track Listing
- Meet Me in the Hallway
- Sign of the Times
- Two Ghosts
- Sweet Creature
- Only Angel
- Ever Since New York
- From the Dining Table
Upon first listen to the debut album by Styles and immediately to me it is very instrumentally similar to artists such as The Beatles, Artic Monkeys and even Roual Blood demonstrating strong drum and all types of guitar flavours and even riveting bass lines having a presence amongst the many instrumentals consistent across the 10 track compilation. This album has its smooth, unproblematic guitars in ‘Sweet Creature’ yet brought rough and ready drums to the table in ‘Only Angel’ with his studio band executing every instrumentation element faultlessly.
With Harry Styles being the sole and only main vocalist of course his voice had it all. A broad spectrum of different tones, styles and register’s shown in the 40 minuet long collection of tracks. The high notes, the low notes and everything in-between enhances Styles calm tones in opener ‘Meet Me in the Hallway’ and his more famous edgy raspy vocals ‘Kiwi’ had to offer which Harry has played upon with his work during One Direction in songs such as ‘Little Black Dress’ and Stockholm Syndrome’ being exploit example of how contrasting Harrys vocal range can be when adapting to different moods and styles running throughout the self titled release.
Styles songwriting shone bright and lyrically the whole record reflects Harry’s expressions of venerability and his general thoughts, feelings and emotions which he has stated and discussed in one of his first major interviews on the Zack Sang show where he talked about how he utilised the creation of the album as a therapeutic tool essentially allowing him to lay all his emotions down through songwriting. Grasping some lyrics from the album like ‘We’re not who we used to be’ and ‘Promises are broken like the stitches’ are for sure song hard hitting lyrics. Also the fact that each individual fan is able to openly interpret and create their own little narratives and senarios with Harry fully supporting this with himself stating on several occasions that he leave s the lyrics open to interpretation to me that is very much credible because there is no right or wrong answer.
Discussing a handful of my stand out favourite tracks beginning with ‘Two Ghosts’ this song is so musically symmetrical to One Directions ‘Home’ even solo Harry is taking inspiration from his own band. Between the comparison of the tempo and the beat of the pair of songs is hugely analogous. Just the sheer fact that Harry Styles may have taken sound influences from One Direction a group he is apart of is something quite special.
‘Only Angel’ is what I would describe as the calm before the storm a popular choice from the album by myself by a landslide. The introduction is extremely tranquil with that distinguished angelic like piano it ticks the listener into believing its just another down tempo song appropriate to unwind and relax down to. But what do you know the storm has arrived in full force and suddenly a wave of Styles unmistakable powerful vocals hits dramatically and for a tune to pack such a punch like ‘Only Angel’ does no wonder this album has had so much success and praise from renowned leading music industry experts.
Lastly ‘Woman’ the leading edgy song from the albums entirety is begging effortlessly for synch deals. with those Funk like piano and that catchy drum beat and retro twangs of the guitar strings are enough for this exquisit track to be appealing for high end clothing designers to use in their tv advertisements which not only will tie decently between the style of the music and more expensive brands like Burberry or Gucci harry Styles branding will only be boosted more considering his personal fashion sense takes inspiration from brands mentioned.
A well balanced acoustic, stripped back to electronic, amplified collection of tracks evidently taking predominant influences from Classic Rock and Roll 40 years previous to this modern day if you want to feel nostalgic with the pop ballads yet modern with the rugged Hard Rock theme this album will work impeccably to your musical taste no matter what.
Utilise the comments box below and feel free to participate along with my review and thoughts of Harry Styles’ first full length album. What was your favourite tracks? What genre do you think the album corresponds to the most? What artists do you believe had an impact on Harry’s songwriting and instrumental choices? Anything you want to say regarding the album please write below.
Listen to or purchase Harry Styles debut album here: