Harry Edward Styles (born 1 February 1994)is an English singer and songwriter. He is known as a member of the pop boy band One Direction. He made his debut as a singer with his band White Eskimo, who performed locally in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire. In 2010, Styles auditioned as a solo artist for the British television series The X Factor. After being eliminated as a solo performer, Styles was brought back into the competition, along with four other contestants, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, to form One Direction.
I was never big fan of One Direction, but I have always had respect for them because I knew that they have talent and that they can do even better once they start their solo careers. On April 7th Harry Styles released his debut single called “Sign Of The Times” and I was completely blown away. First I didn’t expect him to go this direction (no pun intended) and I was blown away how amazing song actually was. Definitely one of the best songs released this year.
Harry Styles released his debut album on May 12th, so was I blown away by the album just like I was blown away by the “Sign Of The Times”?
Absolutely yes! This album is amazing and “Sign Of The Times” is not even best song of the album, which says a lot about quality of this album. Album opens up with the song “Meet Me in the Halfway”. It is a very dreamlike song which I like a lot. Last year tried to make very dreamlike song with the song “Shooting Star”, but they failed to do it because it turned out to be very boring. “Meet Me in the Halfway” is quite opposite of that. Harry’s voice when paired with this instrumentation sounds very interesting and pleasing to listen to.
Next song of the album is already mentioned debut single “Sign Of The Times” and as I already mentioned this song is absolutely amazing. Song starts with very nice piano which perfectly sets up the mood for this song. First time I have heard this song I was not sure is that him singing because he sounds so different on this song. His falsetto in this song is actually really good and adds up to the song a lot. Somewhere around first minute piano gets joined by great bluesy guitars which makes this sound lot better. I love how guitar part opens up with very nice slide. Small things like that make this song sound so much better. It makes the song to sound more diverse. It would not sound good if it was just piano through whole song. This song sounds like something that will be remembered in 20 years. I already reviewed this song, so if you wanna see more in depth review of this song click here
Carolina is the first song that I have problems with. I mean it’s still pretty good but sometimes those “lalalalala” backing vocals can sound little bit annoying, but other than that this is still very good song. It has very nice guitar riff and Harry sounds pretty solid. Bass line is also pretty good even though it is very simple. Overall, this is great blueasy song.
After that, Harry gets back on track with amazing songs. “Two Ghosts” is another song where Harry shows how good he can match his voice with the instrumentation. He isn’t doing any “flashy” things which honestly would ruin this song completely. His voice has very somber and subtle tone which fits the overall tone of the song in such amazing way. Just like Harry’s voice instrumentation is on very high level
I remember first time I was listening to this album. I was in the school bus and “Only Angel” started playing and I was thinking how this album needs one or two “more rock” songs. Something in the style of Led Zeppelin or Rolling Stones songs and then it happened. “Only Angel” went from very slow to very rocking Rolling Stones style of a song, My jaw instantly dropped and by the time “Kiwi” started playing my jaw was even lower. That change of pace and instrumentation is one of the reasons what makes that song so good. Because it comes as surprise and you don’t expect that it will go to that direction( no pun intended).
That was the point of the album when I realized something. Harry Styles is a fucking rockstar. Just listen to his vocal performance on those two songs. Holy shit, he is totally killing it. Now I wanna hear more songs like this from him because this suits him the best. On previous songs his vocals were not going any higher in the register but on these two songs he uses almost his whole range. Also that belted note is perfection.
Also, remember how I said that there are two songs better than “Sign Of The Times”? “Kiwi” and “Only Angel” are those 2 songs and you can clearly tell now why I think that. There are two main reason why I like “Kiwi” more than “Only Angel”. Harry’s vocal performance is even more aggressive and those drums. Holy shit. Whoever is playing drums on this album is my hero. His drumming is what stands out in this song a lot and that little guitar solo adds a lot of great things to this song.
On this album Harry Styles is wearing his influences on his sleeve and absolutely doing great with them. Another song that shows that is the song “Ever Since New York”. It is very similar to first few songs of the album, but this time production is much more modern and it sounds little bit less “bluesy”.
Now, we get to only filler song of this album. Song “Woman”. This song is only reason why this album will not get perfect score and I kinda hate that because every other song of this album absolutely deserves that. I don’t know what were they thinking when they decided to threw in that “sound” to the back of the mix and it gets repeated a lot of times which kills the mood of the song. They even put it over the great guitar solo. Yet again, one little thing made almost amazing song to sound just ok and I hate to say that. Seriously I hate that “sound” it is so painful to listen to.
Album is closed by very good acoustic guitar ballad in the style of “Simon & Garfunkel”. This song has very lowkey sound. Both instrumentation and Harry Styles sound very somber and man, by the time those strings start playing this song goes from good to absolutely amazing song. This song really shows how little bit of strings can really do wonders to the song.
Overall, this is great throwback album that you really need to listen to. Seriously, check it out! You won’t regret listening to it.
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