Harry Styles- Harry’s House
Although there are moments when Harry Styles’ charming third solo album lacks depth, style is always evident. He is sure to thrill fans with this one
Pleasure is the aesthetic proposition on Harry’s House. The album exudes the effortless charm that elevated Styles beyond his former One Direction teammates and solidified his status as one of pop music’s most captivating live performers. Its tones, which range from folk to funk to 2010s Tumblr-pop, are approachable and well-known enough to please casual listeners, but expertly done with an abundance of flair and whimsy that appeals to those with more active ears. Styles wears his influences more subtly than on his prior albums, which seemed consumed with a drive to prove taste and legitimacy via retro-rock mimicry. Also, the tone is light: With scatting, scene-stealing horns and a long list of food references (fried rice, ice cream, coffee on the stove), the opening track “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” gets things started.
Style is always abundant, but substance is occasionally lacking. The dazzling, luscious sections of “Daylight” (“If I were a bluebird/I would fly to you/You’d be the spoon/Dip you in honey so I could be sticking to you”) are surrounded by harmonious portions that expand up like refracted light. “Satellite” features a fantastic example of word painting and engages in dialogue with Ariana Grande’s “NASA”: The song’s back half picks up speed and almost spirals out of control while Styles screams about “spinning out.” Additionally, a few noteworthy instances of self-reflection stand out on an album with mostly basic topics. Empathy flares as Harry talks to himself in the third person on “As It Was.” He works in a coded boast about his association with a certain film on the glossy, lurid “Cinema.”
Styles’ “Treat People With Kindness” ethos radiates across Harry’s House. “If you’re feeling down, I just wanna make you happier, baby!” he insists on Passion Pit-approximate “Late Night Talking.” One song later, he’s “on [his] way to buy some flowers for you.” In this way, Styles invites participants into his project of pleasure-seeking: He is a nice guy, so adoring him is uncomplicated and guilt-free. That the persona doesn’t get grating—with the exception of “Matilda,” a wan ballad whose namesake gets lost in Styles’ abundant sympathy for her—is a feat. So what if Harry’s House isn’t especially bold; innovation is not a requirement of a solid pop album, and working too hard is out of fashion, anyway. Better to slip on your Gucci pajamas and just enjoy.
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Harry Styles’ Harry’s House Tracklist
1. “Music For a Sushi Restaurant”
2. “Late Night Talking”
4. “As It Was”
6. “Little Freak
3. “Keep Driving”
6. “Love Of My Life”
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