Harry Styles
Harry Styles


2.5
average

Review

by Kirk Bowman CONTRIBUTOR (67 Reviews)
June 17th, 2017 | 0 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: right smack dab in the middle of the road

On one hand, there’s nothing really wrong with Harry Styles. I can listen to this without feeling like I’ve been forced into anything. No songs stick out as really bad, the runtime is a relatively brief 40 minutes, he manages to avoid the “sex = maturity” trap most ex-boyband members fall into, and there are touches of it that really reach beauty (the piano-driven finale of “Sign Of The Times,” the gorgeous ambient intro to “Only Angel”). It’s a decent album, for what it is, and there was obviously a lot of time and effort put into it, without any clear filler tracks. There’s a mild amount of creativity, just enough that I can’t fairly say that this is a blatant copy of any of his obvious inspirations. And it’s easy to see that most of the decisions this album faced were chosen correctly, appropriating rock’s influence in the best way. He captures some of the magic of past artists - Queens of the Stone Age, Coldplay, Rolling Stones, Beatles, you name a relevant rock band, and he took some of what they did right. As a result, I didn’t dislike my listening experience.

On the other hand, there’s nothing really that right about the album. I can’t listen to this without feeling like I’ve been taken advantage of. No songs stick out as really good, the runtime is a predictably stale 40 minutes, he falls into the “rock = maturity” trap most ex-boyband members avoid, and there are touches of it that really miss beauty (the rest of “Sign Of The Times,” the dramatic “here come the guitars!” post-intro twist of “Only Angel”). It’s a decent album, for what it is, and there was obviously a lot of thought and marketing put into it, without any clear standout tracks. There’s a mild amount of unoriginality, just enough that I can’t fairly say that this is an original album of any of his own inspiration. And it’s easy to see that one of the decisions this album faced was chosen incorrectly, ignoring One Direction’s influence in the worst way. He captures little of the magic of past tracks – “Night Changes,” “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Kiss You,” “Story Of My Life,” you name a popular 1D song, and he ignored most of what they did right. As a result, I didn’t like my listening experience.



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3.1
good
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