Review Summary: Harry's solo debut album is set to capture an audience different from the screaming teen girls that followed One Direction.
Going for an old school British sound, Harry's solo debut album is set to capture an audience different from the screaming teen girls that followed One Direction.
Influences of melancholic & / psychedelic rock and punk-funk are clear, with excessive use of electronic guitar riffs and distorted vocals that remind you of David Bowie, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, ect.
- The album starts with "Meet Me In The Hallway", an almost George-Michael-at-a-hipster-after-party ballad.
- The core of the album is presented next: slow-versed but with a powerful chorus, "Sign Of The Times" captures the attention as first single.
- "Carolina", a headache-inducing noise factory, is just the worst song on the album. He really believes people will sing along to that "lalalalalalala" try-hard Mick Jagger stuff?
- Sad, because the next song, "Two Ghosts", is a beautiful, relaxing, almost-country ballad, a la The Eagles and The Boss combined.
- Ah, "Sweet Creature", a sweet guitar 'pickle'-song, I could 've done without the strained repetitive belts, but it's acceptable.
We're already halfway through as the album is only 10 songs,
- and "Only Angel" as an up-tempo rock song wakes us right up; it is just good fun (but please, get rid of the cowbell...). Europe's "Mind In The Gutter" sounds exactly the same.
- "Kiwi" is rock-n-roll, Elvis, Bryan Adams and Kiss on steroids.
- Oh, okay, we're going back to a calm Bowie-like forest-people-on-drugs anthem with "Ever Since New York". It is a good sing-along song, but can't keep the attention.
- I heard this Elton John "Bennie And The Jets" type of sound coming back lately (Lady Gaga - "Hey Girl"), and Harry is trying to combine blues with smoke-a-cig-and-complain-about-women music with "Woman". Easy listening, but not my cup of tea.
- The album ends the same way as it starts, with a slow after-hours track, which reminds me of Gustavo Santaolalla - "The Wings". "From The Dining Table" does not reach that level of quality though.
Briefly, Harry Styles by Harry Styles is an alternative hipster album, you either like it or you hate it. The fan girls will back off, and an older crowd will appear at bars, where Harry will be performing small-stage intimate Irish pub-shows. I recommend "Only Angel" as a potentially successful single.
1. Sign Of The Times,
2. Two Ghosts,
3. Only Angel