The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
On March 31, the well renowned British singer, Harry Styles, entered a new cycle of his successful music career after two and a half years, leaving his “Fine Line” era behind with the release of his new hit single “As It Was”. The song quickly broke the Spotify record of being the most-streamed song in the United States on April 2, and its music video already achieved 8.3 million views.
On that note, Harry’s new song couldn’t have been better received by the public, mainly because although its beat is very cheerful and in some way has a bright 80’s melody, it possesses truly deep and emotional lyrics.
Here is every interesting detail I noticed about this release!
Let’s talk first about the lyrics! They became somehow unexpected to the public due to the natural “golden” rhythm that the song has, but it is necessary to admit that the combination of these components made the song even better – it is something that you want to listen to all the time. Therefore, the lyrics become somewhat truly beautiful to analyze, since it reflects the presence of big transformations, as Styles views this song as a “metamorphosis and embracing change and former self and perspective shift”, according to an interview with Audacy.
For the listeners, there are certain moments during the song that let them travel inside Harry’s mind, alluding to the name of the upcoming album, “Harry’s House”, which is set to be released on May 20. The second verse — “Answer the phone/ Harry you’re no good alone/ Why are you sitting at home on the floor? What kind of pills are you on?/ Ringing the bell and nobody’s coming to help” — is one I believe to be deeply emotional and heavily resonating with many people’s mind, portraying the singer’s vulnerability and loneliness. The verse beautifully transforms such a common feeling into artwork, the sensation of not being able to pick up the phone and communicate and make an impulsive decision when at your worst.
The marvelous factor about this is that the media commonly sees Harry’s life as completely luxurious and put together, aside from him having this cheerful and colorful reputation. Therefore, it is comforting for his fans or even random listeners to know that behind this persona, Harry Styles has struggles and is just as much of a human being as anyone who could be listening to the album.
Besides that, the chorus — “In this world, it’s just us/ You know it’s not the same as it was” —adds a whole new perspective to the song, as it develops the idea of metamorphosis throughout a relationship, in which the person knows – and does – absolutely everything in their power to stay together, but there is this constant inevitability of change, and things will never be the way they started out to be.
Music Video: Autoral Composition
As if the song in itself wasn’t enough to make this one of Harry Styles’s biggest hits, the music video, directed by Tanu Muino, became as well one of the factors that made it out to be the success it has grown into. The video portrays Styles wearing a red jumpsuit and a woman wearing a similar one, but in blue, and throughout it the two of them walk on a circular spinning platform, at times walking together, separately, or even going against each other and ending up alone, making a reference to the chorus of the song.
The most interesting part is that when they are both running on the spinning platform there is a moment in which the watcher can’t identify who is running towards the other. It is symbolizing the agony of never knowing when a relationship is completely over, that being the breakdown of the relationship that was built. Keeping with this narrative, in the last 25 seconds of the video, it is possible to see a particularly happier Harry, evoking the path of acceptance and self-love, which is a lovely theme for his new album following the Fine Line era.
The whole song and video are pretty emotional and meaningful, but there are some elements to the whole experience of “As It Was” that make it out to be a bigger memoir.
The first moment in the song that added certain sentimentalism is when we hear an adorable voice message from his godchild Ruby, calling to say she wants to say goodnight to Harry, bringing to the song the ideia of home and a warm and cozy feeling. Asides from that, as Styles is in a way waving goodbye to “Fine Line”, in the music video it is possible to see a version of Harry wearing the same black leather gloves as the hand approaching Harry in his album cover made in 2019, serving as a tribute to such an important era in his life and career.
Along with that, there is a specific lyric that develops a relationship with Harry’s childhood and it breaks your heart — “Your daddy lives by himself/ He just wants to know that you are well” — because it is well known that the British singer has had a very turbulent relationship with his father, a situation many individuals can easily relate to.
Finally, the everlasting sentimentalism is made by the constant imagery of Harry’s butterfly tattoo on his naked chest, which represents transformation and in a way metamorphosis, leaving us wondering: which version of Harry are we meeting next?