Album Review: Harry Styles

Review of Harry Styles self titled debut album.

 

Arguably the most anticipated album of this year, Harry Styles’ self-titled debut solo album was released yesterday. Admittedly the first single from the album Sign Of The Times split opinion, the David Bowie influence undeniable and sure to spark controversy in his (for the most part) younger fan base. This divide is only exacerbated when compared to the recent releases of ex band mate Zayn Malik. Nevertheless, I feel that Styles should be commended on his first solo album- a brave new direction (pardon the pun) for someone who could have quite easily played it safe with further regurgitation of boy band material sure to make the fan-girls go mad.

 

There are a clear range of influences in this album, from the aforementioned David Bowie to the Beatles, John Mayer and even traces of Wolfmother. The Sign Of The Times, as the album’s first single is a good first statement of intent however it feels like it is lacking something musically. A song bearing similarities to the music epics of David Bowie or even Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen lacking the punching power is a real shame. Admittedly Styles does showcase his vocals in the outro but it still seems to lack something whether that be a guitar solo or better lyrics.

Sadly, where this album may have difficulties is in the singles department. In this day and age where music is streamed and albums are dying out, this album may well struggle due to a lack of a clear cut single. However such is the fan base for Harry Styles, he could probably release anything and have success so the singles may not even matter.

 

In my opinion the two most prominent songs on the album are Kiwi and From The Dining Table. One is a power chord fuelled rock song and the other a direct juxtaposition. To Styles’ credit, this album is incredibly varied making the album a real listening experience. It is a very brave first effort and one full of merit, from a wide ranging palette and far from a sure-fire conservative approach he could’ve employed.

 

4/5

 

Image is Harry Styles album cover photograph and song list. 

 

 

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