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“Harry Styles” diverges from boyband to rock band

Styles reveals captivating personality through telling lyrics

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Since the hiatus of One Direction, Harry Styles has kept most of his work on his debut album a secret. Instead of continuing along the mainstream pop path paved by his former band, “Harry Styles” pulls from classic rock influences to craft a refreshingly alternative solo debut.

Styles’s album consists of ten songs, and as of now, two of them have been released as singles. His first single “Sign of the Times” gives a nod towards David Bowie with its soft piano intro that slowly builds from thin vocals into an intense climax. The album’s second single “Sweet Creature” is also enjoyable with its lamenting tune.

While exploring many aspects of classic rock, two songs stand out as clearly inhibiting hard-rock influences, “Kiwi” and “Only Angel.”  “Only Angel” begins with a mellow tune that suddenly transforms into upbeat rock, while his other song “Kiwi” begins with alternative rock right out of the gate.

Styles then adds some alternative country tracks into the mix with “Two Ghosts” and “Ever Since New York”. Both pieces are heavy with listlessness and energy, as well as some country twang, while drums and guitar are the main accompaniments to Styles’s strong vocals.

The lyrics to the song “Woman” are extremely frustrated and desperate when separated from the other song elements, but when added to the tempo, tune and tone, the song turns into an entertaining and spot-on Elton John-like strain.

While most of the album consists of emotional lyrics, “Meet me in the Hallway” shines a light on his messy emotional status. The lyrics are striking with their bluntness and sheepishness. For instance, the lyrics “Hoping you’ll come around, just let me know I’ll be on the floor,” offer the clearest view into his past romantic life.

“Harry Styles” is very enticing with its mix of classic rock, alternative country influences. By straying from the expected mainstream pop genre, Styles provides listeners with a refreshing and unique debut album. His vocals and stylistic focus are what make each track as enjoyable as they are memorable.

For those interested in listening, “Harry Styles” is available for purchase on iTunes and for streaming on Spotify.

Rating: 5/5

 

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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School
“Harry Styles” diverges from boyband to rock band