Over the past week or so, A LOT of new music has been released by a variety of artists, but I think most of us can agree that one album sticks out above the rest. Yes, that's right my friends, we're talking about Harry Styles. And before you ask, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, he is that "handsome boy with the hair from that one boy band", and his album is amazing.
As I'm sure we all know, One Direction tragically broke up a year ago, and the boys have since been pursuing solo endeavors. As it stands currently, Harry is the second member of the band to release an album, after Zayn Malik. Both members' albums were of a genre far outside of One Direction's boy-band pop. Zayn decided to explore the R&B genre, while Harry's new album is clearly influenced by Rock. Yes, you read that right, Rock.
If you're curious as to what artists best compare to Harry's new sound, it is pretty clear that the works of David Bowie and Prince had a solid impact on his music. Also, one of my good friends said that it was very comparable to the Icelandic Rock Band, Kaleo, and I think that was a really great comparison.
The point of all of this, though, is that even if you couldn't stand One Direction, I highly suggest you listen to this album. It's not the same, and like Justin Timberlake with *NSYNC, we should give Harry the chance to separate himself from his boy band days. If you need more convincing, fret not, I compiled a list as to why this album is worth a listen.
1. He Poured His Heart Into Every Song And It Shows
Not only is this his debut solo album, but he wrote every single song on the album, and it so emotionally charged. When you really listen to the lyrics, it's remarkable, he really is a talented songwriter who deserves so much recognition for his work on this. Two of my favorite songs from the album that are more on the emotional end of the spectrum are "From the Dining Table", and "Two Ghosts".
2. The Music / Instrumentals Are Incredible
The music, aside from the singing, is just beautiful. Some songs are primarily acoustic, with not much instrumentation, while others are heavily dependent on the instrumentals. But regardless of the song and approach, the instrumentals fit so well and are simply gorgeous.
3. There Are Some Head-Bang Worthy Rock Songs
Sure, most of the songs on the album are more subdued and heartfelt, but he included some real BANGERS in this, and they are truly amazing. The first time I listened to "Kiwi" was a shocking experience... but in the best way possible. It did not feel like I was listening to Harry Styles, I genuinely felt like I was listening to the Rolling Stones. The other songs that fall under this category of Rock are, "Only Angel", "Carolina", and "Woman". These are the songs that I think Classic Rock fans would be the most drawn to.
4. He's Coming Into Himself
I know One Direction fans, we loved Harry's boy band days, but it's time to move on. We all knew the beloved band couldn't last forever, and it was clear that the enthusiasm was dying down. All of them began to want different things, and to pursue independent ventures that were more... them. With this new album, it is incredibly clear that this is the genre that Harry is most passionate about. He didn't want to make catchy pop music anymore, he wanted to make earnest, and raw rock music, so he did.
I think that's something anyone can appreciate, not just pre-existing fans of Harry Styles. He's coming into himself and the musical genre he thoroughly enjoys. No matter how you feel about this shift in genre, it's important to recognize that art and music is more about the person making it than the people listening, and this is definitely the music that makes Harry happy.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that no matter who you are, I highly suggest you throw away all of your previous judgements of One Direction, and truly listen to Harry's new music. He displays so much passion and growth in this album, and I truly think that is what makes it so special.
((Also, Harry if you're reading this [you're not], I couldn't afford your concert bc I'm a poor college student. Pls give me free tickets. Ok I love you thnx.))