By Ava Zardynezhad, May 26 2022—
Harry Styles’ new album, Harry’s House, is finally out and I am left wondering how I survived three years since Fine Line. Before I go and make this album my entire personality, I thought I might give an unbiased review based on first impression.
This album is a great example of an outcome of post-pandemic reflection. In an interview with Better Homes and Gardens, Styles talks about how in his pre-pandemic life he accommodated avoidant behaviour, so that “[he] was always gone before it got to the point of having to have any difficult conversations.” This realization prompted self-reflection in many aspects of his life, but especially in defining the idea of home or belonging.
“I realized that that home feeling isn’t something that you get from a house — it’s more of an internal thing. You realize that when you stop for a minute,” he explains. Styles also mentions how this album was his opportunity to be freer and to make music that is fun and that he can be proud of, instead of worrying about being taken seriously or about critical acclaim.
I think when “As It Was” was released, it became glaringly obvious that this album was going to be very fun, musically, but very intimate and thematically. That is certainly the case, now that the album has been released.
Styles’ eponymous debut album, no matter how powerful and enjoyable, didn’t stray away from the rigid and typical structure of soft-rock music. Though, this album was such a contrast to the music his One Direction bandmates were putting out at the same time and it helped distinguish him and his artistic voice. His second album, Fine Line, however, was a complete 360. Styles came out strong in terms of self-expression with everything from his music to his fashion choices. This album felt free, especially with songs like “Lights Up” and “Adore You.” However, at times, it felt like Styles teetered too far into the pop side of things to preserve his voice as a rock artist.
With Harry’s House, Styles strikes the perfect balance between the two genres. The tracks on this album are so diverse, it shows how committed he was to having fun when making this album. The first half of the album has more of an R&B, disco, dance vibe with songs like “Music For a Sushi Restaurant,” “Late Night Talking” and of course, “As It Was.” The mid-section is a transition phase, where you still get the pop-y, dance tunes but with a little bit of indie and soft-rock mixed in. Songs like “Cinema” and “Daydreaming” perfectly capture this transition. Finally, the second half is fully committed to rock.
I really enjoyed this album. Not every song is a banger and not every song is meant for every taste and that’s fine, because it’s the whole point of the album. This album has something for everyone. For the ones who like funky dance tunes, there’s “Music For a Sushi Restaurant” with its questionable lyrics but immaculate vibes. For those who vibe with coffee house tunes, there’s “Grapejuice,” and “Daylight.” For those who miss the saxophone era of pop music, there’s “Daydreaming.” For synth-pop fans, there’s “Satellite.”
My personal favourites off the album include “Late Night Talking” — which stole my heart away with it’s R&B, Al Green vibes — “Matilda” — because those lyrics reached deep into my soul — and “Boyfriends” — because it reminded me of all of my favourite parts of 60s folk tunes.
Overall, Harry’s House and this new era of Styles’ music are here to stay and I’m all for it. This is a pretty darn good album. Now, please excuse me while I play all my favourite songs on repeat until my ears bleed.