By Anna Calkins, Staff Writer
Today, May 20, Harry Styles released his latest album, Harry’s House.
This highly-anticipated album is Harry’s most recent since Fine Lines from Dec. 2019. Styles’s album Fine Line was wildly popular from the day of its release, and on March 23 his loyal fans were delighted to find out another album, Harry’s House, was coming. The announcement, two months ahead of the May 20 release date, came with only a title and an album cover. On April 1, though, he released one of the tracks, “As It Was”, early; it became an immediate chart-topper. At Coachella in April, he performed two of the songs on the expected album, and the YouTube uploads received millions of views.
Harry Styles’s music is known for its variety and range. His album Fine Line ranges from gleeful pieces such as “Canyon Moon” to heart-wrenching ones such as “Falling”. Similarly, his eponymous first album includes both folksy music and full-rock tunes. He drew inspiration for Fine Line partially from his breakup with Camille Rowe, which fueled the sadness, but also the euphoria, found in the album’s 12 songs.
For Harry’s House, Styles drew inspiration from his experience in the pandemic. In an interview with Better Homes and Gardens, (an embracement of the album’s title) Styles shared how the pandemic changed him. According to the interview, the pandemic gave the artist ample time to reflect on who he is in relation to his friends and family, as well as on what “home” means to him. Through this album, he wanted to capture domestic bliss and how it can be found or made anywhere in our lives. The themes of belonging and peace that he ruminated on during the pandemic are explored in the album’s laid-back rhythms.
If I could use only one word to describe this album, it would be groovy.
“Music For a Sushi Restaurant”, “Late Night Talking”, and “Grapejuice” are the opening trio of the album. The groovy synth beat throughout “Music For a Sushi Restaurant” piques the listener’s curiosity and interest. It sets the tone of the album as something new and light. “Late Night Talking” continues this, with jazzy brass and bright colors. It is catchy and danceable–perfect to make you happier, just as the lyrics say Styles hopes to do. “Grapejuice” rounds out the trio with a more reliable bass under varied vocals.
The next track is “As It Was”, which Styles released early. Its unforgettable beat and tune made it a good sneak-peek of the album. It is high-energy and personable. From “As It Was”, the album goes on to “Daylight”, which is a relaxed, head-over-heels love song that is reminiscent of the Italian summer Pinterest boards that have become so popular lately.
“Little Freak” focuses on the background of the song, with most of the attention centered around the instrumentation and instrumentals. The following song, “Matilda”, changes the pace of the album and tells a story. It is a forgiving and comfortable song; soft and welcoming with its lyrics and music. “Cinema” is a more poppy and funky tune, with a guitar solo from John Mayer to complete it. The song is a clean segue into “Daydreaming”, which feels like a less dramatic accompaniment to “Daylight”.
“Keep Driving” and “Satellite” are both looks into the artist’s life in Los Angeles, with tales of his adventures in “Keep Driving” and a catchy, bumping bass in “Satellite” that highlight his ‘LA Mood’. They are invitations to escape–to find joy and light in the music as well as in life.
The second to last track of the album is a very different feel than the rest. “Boyfriends” is a commentary on his own gender and how relationships often tend to go. “Love of my life”, the final song of the album, returns to the theme of love and joy. It depicts a sweet relationship, described from the first-person perspective, with care and affection.
Ultimately, this third album from the British music icon is no disappointment. There is something for everyone, as it explores various genres and themes throughout. I highly recommend Harry’s House for some easy listening and a mood boost.