Harry Styles has finally dropped his highly anticipated self-titled debut album. As an avid Harry Styles fan since his One Direction days, I’d been waiting to hear the album since it was confirmed that he signed a deal with Columbia Records. I even FaceTimed a friend when Styles posted the tracklist on Twitter and shared with her my expectations for each song.
“Meet Me in the Hallway” // The opening track of the album has a psychedelic rock feel to it, something I imagined/hoped it would have. I initially thought it would give me “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix and the Experience feels, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is the perfect opening to this amazing album. It encapsulates the entire essence and themes of the album without giving too much away.
Favorite line: “I walked the streets all day, running with the thieves“
“Sign of the Times” // Acting as his debut single and second track on the album, “Sign of the Times” is a beautiful ballad that many people compared to David Bowie amongst its release. Its evasive lyrics adds to the underlying tone and meaning of the song. From listening to the album, this song was the perfect debut single for Styles.
Favorite line: “Why are we always stuck and running from the bullets?“
“Carolina” // I imagined this song to be similar to “Roxana” by The Police, but I got much more than I expected. The funky blues melody that opens this tune is absolutely amazing. The lyrics are simple, yet effective. They manage to evoke a sense of feeling as if you, the listener, are this “Carolina.”
Favorite line: “She’s got a book for every situation“
“Two Ghosts” // “Two Ghosts” shows the Shania Twain influence that Styles touched upon in his Rolling Stone interview. The simplicity and richness of the lyrics touch the heart and soul of the listener. I imagined it would be a song reminiscent of Mick Jagger’s “Sweet Thing,” but like the other songs, I was pleasantly surprised.
Favorite line: “Trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat“
“Sweet Creature” // Serving as the second single from the album, “Sweet Creature” is a folk-like song. The soft guitar of the song and the beautiful lyrics about how a loved one brings him home despite everything impact the meaning of the song.
Favorite line: “I always think about you and how we don’t speak enough“
“Only Angel” // The opening of this song is just as heavenly as the title. “Only Angel,” to me, is a bit steamier version of Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar.” It is definitely in the top three favorites from the album. I imagined this song would be a ballad, much like “If I Could Fly” from One Direction’s fifth album “Made in the A.M.”, which Styles also wrote.
Favorite line: “When it turns out she’s a devil in between the sheets“
“Kiwi” // “Kiwi” gave me “No Good” by Kaleo vibes. Straight up Rock ‘N Roll. The fast lyrics and beat of the song manage to give this tune an even more of a lively feel to it. It makes you want to go on a night out with all your friends and just have a smashing time, which is what I predicted the song would sound like, completely blew my expectations out of the water.
Favorite line: “It’s New York baby, always jacked up”
“Ever Since New York” // We first heard this lovely tune when Styles performed on Saturday Night Live. The soothing song is one perfect for rainy days and cuddling up in New York. I can imagine playing this song while sitting on a bench in Central Park. It is absolutely beautiful.
Favorite line: “Brooklyn saw me, empty avenues”
“Woman” // “Woman” is, essentially, a song about jealousy and with a sexy beat like that, I am all for it. This song is my absolute favorite from the entire album. Originally, I also thought this was going to be a ballad of sorts. I thought it was going to start out much like “Only Angel” did, but then go into a “Kiwi”-like tone once the bridge hit. Once again, I was pleasantly surprised.
Favorite line: “Promises are broken like the stitches”
“From the Dining Table” // I thought this song was going to be a “Thanks for the show” type endings to albums, but this song gave me Sufjan Stevens feels. It wraps up the album beautifully, much like how “Meet Me in the Hallway” opened it. The many themes regarding love and passion for another are repeated throughout the song in a heartbreaking, yet absolutely angelic, way.
Favorite line: “More of what was once mine”
Harry Styles and this album are godsends. From his relatable, sometimes almost too relatable, lyrics to the beats and melodies of all the songs, he can honestly do no wrong. I cannot wait to receive the vinyl of this album, which would not only allow me to play it from the mountain tops but to also play it for my own kids when the time comes, as many other fans will. Harry Styles will be an album for the books.