Harry Styles
Harry Styles


3.4
great

Review

by Arcade STAFF
May 13th, 2017 | 144 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I'm still the only one who's been in love with me.

Is Harry Styles a Rock Star now" More than anything, his debut is the fabled convergence of two diametrically opposed marketing techniques; poptimism, the insufferable lionizing of your sister’s favourite chart topper, and rockism, the intolerable idolization of anyone willing to play a guitar. Together, they form rocktimism: that is, a dashingly handsome frontman from a remarkably conventional boy band, now growling and strutting as if he were Freddie Mercury incarnate. At least, that’s the motivation behind the operatic bilge of “Sign of the Times,” a 5-minute dirge of wailing, choirs, guitars, and, oh, ‘the bullets!’ So jacked up on its own sense of irony, the whole thing whizzes by before you can evaluate just how bad this post-Def Leppard jukebox anthem really is. But then this sort of overdramatic, sexualized music for the barroom floor has always been silly, and suits Styles better than the overdramatic, narcotized music for the bedroom Zayn has desperately peddled out since proclaiming the mantle of overnight success. Needless to say, Styles' self-titled effort is everything “Sign of the Times” should have been but only desperately flailed towards; nostalgic nods towards ‘70s soft rock hits (“Carolina,” “Woman”,) wailing guitar riffs (“Only Angel,” “Kiwi”,) and inappropriate references to masturbation, one-night stands, and other bad sexual habits (“From the Dining Table.”) It’s also a product, so clearly indebted to the requirements of radio success that it polishes off the edge of every guitar and caterwauled yell, yet not enough to remove the references to his deviant behaviour and a delusional, messianic complex. It's careful in its curation, unable to expose its absolute lack of message whilst still entertaining the grim emptiness of celebrity for financial gain. That's the cynical view of it, at least; conventionally speaking, this sort of straightforward and well-performed hard rock has been M.I.A. in the last decade, and it's nice to hear it brought back so confidently, even if it is just another marketing technique. This is music that plays well in every venue, from the late night hangouts of urban bohemia to the awkward houses of the indie disco. It's tempting to be cynical, especially when you read about how Styles, 'wanted to do something that sounds like me,' when 'me' sounds a lot like Stealer's Wheel. But really, to have guitars so close to the radio, and the radio so close to guitars feels like a unifying experience, the likes of which we haven't experienced in years. So what if One Direction's frontman made it happen"




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user ratings (179)
Chart.
3.1
good
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Arcade
Staff Reviewer
May 13th 2017


8449 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

my apologies, i've been off the map due to thesis work, hope y'all dig this 1

Digging: Fever Ray - Plunge

avery14th
May 13th 2017


73 Comments


Interesting read, especially the last bit. Sign of the times, even though I enjoyed it enough, did bring the cynic out of me as it was harry styles "bringing back ROCK!!" Will check the rest of this though

SoccerRiot
May 13th 2017


2898 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice succinct review. I've been pleasantly surprised by this, tbh

Gyromania
May 13th 2017


23420 Comments


Looks like a scene from hausu

cryptologous
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2017


1808 Comments


Interesting review. Yea this album is surprising me too. Don't know much about the man outside of his shenanigans with One Direction; glad to see he isn't following suit with solo work.

jtswope
May 13th 2017


5655 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First four songs are really good especially.

Cygnatti
May 13th 2017


31988 Comments


i appreciate the theme and concept of this review, pos'd
#poptismbois

LethalPaintball
May 13th 2017


727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

its been a while since an album surprised me with how good it is

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

Lucid
May 13th 2017


8678 Comments


preferred zayn's solo outing

JigglyPDiddy
May 13th 2017


3225 Comments


Reading the words "Interesting review." while looking at Ainsley Harriott's face was today's biggest highlight.

Probably skipping this thing. The lyrics are god awful from what I read on genius. The first single was genuinely good but nah.

Digging: Fever Ray - Plunge

xfearbefore
May 13th 2017


1479 Comments


Well shit, look at that, the kid wants to make rock and roll now. Good for him, I'm obviously not the target audience for 1D and just assume they're all vacuous untalented shitbirds, but this shows promise for Styles future.

Tunaboy45
May 13th 2017


15609 Comments


this is a serious album made by a serious artist for serious people

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

Wildhoney
May 13th 2017


89 Comments


fantastic review imo. In searching for the album's place in the industry you simultaneously describe it's sound, both of which I think you do well here. Also, makes me pretty excited to listen because I actually liked 'sign if the times' a good bit

elliootsmeuth
May 13th 2017


3353 Comments


Interesting review, I really like it

SowingSeason
Moderator
May 13th 2017


25033 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice work Arcade. Listening to this now and it's definitely exceeding my expectations. I always had a soft spot for 1D's earlier stuff, and this is everything I could have wanted from any member of that band, even though I would have expected all of them to follow the path of trashy solo-artist pop. The whole "bringing rock back" thing is obviously ludicrous - the kind of speculation made by 7th graders who've never listened to anything not pop or R&B - but this is quite good for what it is (a not shitty pop record that proudly wears its influences on its sleeve).

Digging: Brand New - Science Fiction

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2017


5646 Comments


review is fucking lovely.. gonna have to give this a spin now, suppose..

Digging: Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest

50iL
May 13th 2017


4354 Comments


This actually looks pretty interesting

Ocean of Noise
May 13th 2017


9773 Comments


Great review, though I'll probably never listen to this tbh

Digging: Burzum - Filosofem

Tunaboy45
May 14th 2017


15609 Comments


That cover is very placebo-esque

someguest
May 14th 2017


28826 Comments


hairy styles > harry styles



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