By Vianney Morales
Currently number one on the Billboard 200 album charts, former One Direction member Harry Styles released his third solo album May 20.
Prior to its release, Styles teased the title and the album cover theme.
I enjoyed the album’s focus on nostalgia and its attempt to define what “home” means in your 20s.
I interpreted it as Styles officially establishing his individual artistry.
Despite its lyrical simplicity, I think there’s something to be said about the lyrics being reflective of Styles’ personality and artistry. I admired that many lyrics seemed to be very specific to each respective muse and added a layer of authenticity to the music.
I thought Styles was able to get away with otherwise decent lyricism because the overall sound and vibe of the album won me over.
The songwriting isn’t revolutionary but the album delivers a wide variety of ranging acoustics and beats.
“Harry’s House” is a cool medium between Styles’ first and second albums. It combines the experimental soft rock sounds of “Fine Line” with the simple but sweet songwriting of his self-titled album.
The track “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” kicks off the album on a high note and is arguably the record’s most upbeat song.
When I listened to it, I knew it would instantly be a fan favorite. Much like the other tracks on the record, it’s reminiscent of ’70s dance anthems while still distinctively a Harry Styles song.
Admittedly, the track “Grapejuice” lyrically reminded me of a One Direction song. However, I didn’t mind and thought it was a fun callback to his early career.
The album’s only single “As It Was” encapsulates the inescapable, haunting nostalgia we all face as we grow older. I think that it captures the best of Styles’ storytelling.
Being faced with constant reminders of a past version of ourselves can be disheartening, especially with the nostalgia that accompanies our memories when we realize we can’t go back to our youth and simpler days.
“Matilda” brought me to tears with its simplicity and its ability to utterly devastate me emotionally. The lyrics and slowness of the melody felt like a great comfort.
This track is about reassuring a friend who is leaving the things that hurt them behind, letting them know they are allowed to write new chapters in their life.
There’s an intentional progression of the tracks starting from very upbeat to more alluring acoustic melodies throughout the album.
It’s clear that after experimenting with different sounds and tones, Styles has found his unique rhythm as a solo artist and songwriter. The album is a unique representation of himself and a culmination of his musical influences.