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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Life + Arts

‘Harry’s House’ embraces fans with nostalgic sound

The cover of Harry Styles’ long-awaited third album, “Harry’s House.” | Courtesy of Sony Music

The cover of Harry Styles’ long-awaited third album, “Harry’s House.” | Courtesy of Sony Music

British singer-songwriter and global pop star, Harry Styles released his long-awaited third solo album on May 20, “Harry’s House.” With catchy hooks, spectacular production, lyricism and a few surprises up his sleeve, Styles delivered a record like no other. 

The 13-track album was written during quarantine in 2020 and finished before Styles went on tour for this sophomore album, “Fine Line,” last fall. “Harry’s House” is 42 minutes in length with no featured artists as Styles is credited as the sole performer. 

The start of the album is with horn-led songs “Music For a Sushi Restaurant” and “Late Night Talking.” Styles uses upbeat tempo skills and easy dance numbers. Styles eases fans into a song perfect for the dance floor and, of course, a sushi restaurant. 

Succeeding those songs is his fruit-titled song, “Grapejuice,” a slow pop song that balances nostalgia and love. As the lyrics from the song say with, “the grape juice blues,” Styles soothingly sings about love and togetherness. 

“As it Was,” the lead single released April 1, is an upbeat song laced with devastating lyrics, a recurring theme on the record. 

“Daylight” introduces references to doing cocaine and missing his lover and wishing he could be a bluebird as Styles sings in the song, “If I was a bluebird, I would fly to you. You’d be the spoon. Dip you in honey so I could be sticking to you.” 

“Little Freak,” with the general anticipation of a song similar to Kiwi or Only Angel, is a somber song with earnest lyrics. From “Little Freak,” Styles moves on to “Matilda,” the heart of the album that is an emotional ballad about found family and the only song to have a female co-writer, Amy Marie Allen. 

At the heart of the album, Styles sings about growing up and healing from childhood trauma and finding family. 

“You can let it go. You can throw a party full of everyone you know. You can start a family who will always show you love,” he sings.

With this song at the heart of the album, Styles is inviting all of his fans into his home where they are welcomed and loved. 

Right after slow and wound-laced songs, “Cinema” gives a whiplash with its upbeat tunes and whimsical scenes in this vibey and sensual track. 

“Daydreaming” is also an upbeat song in which Styles seems to live in daydreams of his lover, as he sings in the song.

 “It just feels right when you give me all of your love, give me something to dream about.”

“Keep Driving” brings more references to doing cocaine by the sea view. This song is filled with warning signs, and references to quarantine 2020. 

“Riot America, science and edibles. Life hacks gone viral in the bathroom.”

 With a nostalgic synth, the song goes over warning signs in the engine before Styles suggests to “just keep driving.” 

“Satellite” with the distortion of Style’s voice and old pop sounds, gives the feeling of familiarity and nostalgia. It sounds like something One Direction would have written together, which for many fans is home.

Like his song “Sunflower Vol.6” Styles introduces “Boyfriends” with inverted song lyrics at the beginning. A slow song that is half critique and half reminiscing of Styles’ own and other boyfriend’s behaviors. In his own words, “To all the boyfriends out there: F—you!” 

“Love Of My Life” is the last song on the record, the ending notes of the song played backward are the very first notes that the album was introduced with. In a fitting end, Styles closes the album with the same reversed notes that he introduced the album in March. 

Styles balanced between a critique of himself and those around him, love, reflection, past, present and the future in this new record. Filled with horns and synths, different styles such as synth-pop and dipped toes in R&B, “Harry’s House” is an album that just simply fits together. 

A record laced with nostalgia and Styles’ voice makes “Harry’s House” feel like a warm blanket, and most importantly, home. 

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