Harry Styles’ self titled debut album surprises with a rock and roll twist

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Album art for Harry Styles

Album art for Harry Styles

Screaming teenage girls, teeny-bopper songs, and four other band mates are no more for former boyband member Harry Styles. His self-titled debut album as a solo artist showcases nostalgia, seriousness, and rock-star capability.

After the break-up of the monumentally successful British boyband, One Direction, Styles has made a statement as a solo artist. He has spent a tedious amount of time in the studio curating an image and a style (no pun intended) uniquely to his own. Fans can wave goodbye to Style’s songs about sweet teenage romance and longing and instead, say hello to songs with correlation to sophisticated relationships. It is a style that now young adults who grew up with One Direction can enjoy and that a cultured audience can admire.

Style’s new sound is heavily inspired by, or at least has the sound of, past British rock and roll brunettes. The instrumental backing relies heavily on strings, whether that be electric guitar, plucked acoustic, or the hum of a bass. The vocals join the instrumentals like yin and yang. The whole album has a rock and roll aesthetic. Styles voice comes across very authentic; not noticeably pop auto-tuned like that of his One Direction days. While his vocals are natural, he definitely showcases his legitimate raspy vocals and he lets them shine through.

The album has been compared to those of Mick Jagger and The Beatles. The ballads that are showcased on the album eerily remind me of The Beatles’ Blackbird, where the harmony and sad undertones radiate through the melody. Like Jagger and The Beatles, Harry may have come up with a recognizable new style. It’s not his sly and infamous dance moves like Jagger (even though there is quite a physical resemblance to the two), nor the brunette bowl cuts accompanied by psychedelic marching band uniforms like the Beatles, instead: It’s pink. Styles album cover is adorned with a pink huge and his fashion bears a bright pink suit at one of the first aired performances as a solo artist. Whether it’s a statement or style preference is up for discussion. Similarly, A British band, The 1975, has had a black and white theme for ages, and they announced their new era of music by changing their color to pink which represented love.

The pink toned album consists of ten songs. The album debuted with a single “Sign of Times,” and transitions into the heartbroken ballads of the album; “Meet Me in the Hallway,” “Ever Since New York,” “Two Ghosts,” and “From the Dining Table.” The album also includes two acoustic songs that will give even the most mature of audiences the feeling of fluttering butterflies of young love: “Sweet Creature” and “Carolina.” The remainder of the album consists of rock and roll influenced songs. They immediately flood feelings of nostalgia as if you heard it before; maybe in a past life, maybe in a dream. Really it is just the familiarity of music from times past. “Kiwi,” “Only Angel,” and “Woman” finish up the album with vibes of classic rock.

Style’s ex-bandmates have gone right back into the pop genre. Louis Tomlinson was featured on an EDM song, Zayn Malik is reaching into the alternative R&B that plays on popular charts and Niall Horan, who jumped right into the pop music. Yet, Styles has jumped into an image and sound that has been heard before, but yet is uniquely his own. The pink, the rock, the roll, and the blatant honesty (of true classic rock culture) of the album has definitely set up Style’s for a career and a remembrance for many years to come. The originality is breathtaking and refreshing, striking beautiful emotions.

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