Three years after dropping his acclaimed second album Fine Line, Harry Styles returns with Harry’s House, another record packed with perfectly-crafted pop songs. Here’s the five biggest takeaways from an advance listen to his new album, out this Friday.
The album is broken up into two sections
The lyrics are honest, introspective, and charmingly witty. Vocally, Harry has turned things up a notch. Split into two halves, the first is made up of seven songs and includes tracks that leave you wanting more (and will likely have you mulling over the lyrics days later). One example is ‘Matilda’, a folky track about a protagonist navigating the stresses of adulthood, with piano chords and an acoustic guitar that allow Styles’s vocals to shine.
“I just think you’re cool, I dig your cinema. Do you think I’m cool too? Or am I too into you?” Harry asks on ‘Cinema’, another sonically groovy soon-to-be hit from the second half of the album, on which Styles dares to tap into more sexual territory. This is a feel-good track you’ll find yourself absentmindedly humming on your morning commute.
Styles sings about love, heartache and everything else in between
The 28-year-old is able to recount the peaks and troughs of his relationships so vividly in the music that it’s easy to paint a picture of each scenario in your mind. Fans were given a taste of his elevated songwriting at Coachella last month, where he belted out the funky ‘Late Night Talking’ while dancing around on stage in a sequinned jumpsuit. “I’ve never been a fan of change, but I’d follow you to any place, if it’s Hollywood or Bishopsgate, I’m coming too,” he sings over the criminally infectious track, the second from Side A of the album.
The project, which Styles has described as his most intimate work to date, closes with a destined-to-be-analysed track called ‘Love of My Life’. More up-tempo than one might expect, a wistful Styles recalls the love of his life as the song twists and turns, culminating in the demise of the relationship. “It’s unfortunate, just coordinates,” he sings.
There’s another fruit-inspired track
As Styles put it so perfectly on Twitter back in 2019: “‘Kiwi’ walked so ‘Watermelon Sugar’ could run.” Fans will be delighted to know that his penchant for fruit-themed tracks continues. This time, he reminisces about sharing a bottle of something “old and red” with a loved one on ‘Grapejuice’. Elsewhere, Styles devotees will surely appreciate the Grammy winner’s playful scatting on the opening track, ‘Music For a Sushi Restaurant’, which occupies the same musical realm as Fine Line’s light-hearted ‘Sunflower Vol. 6’.
He worked with his most-trusted collaborators
For Harry’s House, Styles worked closely with Kid Harpoon (born Thomas Edward Percy Hull), producer and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Johnson, and guitarist Mitch Rowland – co-writers on his last album and the masterminds behind his Grammy-winning track ‘Watermelon Sugar’. The 13-track album produced by Harpoon and Johnson, tinged with influences from the 1970s and 1980s, was recorded across multiple locations including California and Bath, and flits between a variety of sounds. From ‘Little Freak’, a song about a fleeting connection, to the chart-topping ’80s-inspired lead single ‘As It Was’, there’s something for everyone.
Styles’s vocals shine
On the techno-pop, synth-heavy ‘Daylight’, Harry’s buttery smooth vocals are a highlight as he sings, “If I was a blue bird, I would fly to you, you’d be the spoon, dip you in honey so I could be sticking to you”. Another standout moment comes during ‘Satellite’, on which he showcases an impressive falsetto.
Harry’s House by Harry Styles is out on 20 May.