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Harry Styles - Harry's House (Album Review)

Wednesday, 25 May 2022 Written by Jacob Brookman

How many truly global pop stars has the UK produced in the past 10 years? Ed Sheeran is one, Adele is another and you can certainly make a case for Dua Lipa.

Harry Styles is on the list, too. He has billions of streams and a stadium world tour taking in four continents under his belt. But whether he has the quality of musical output of the other three artists is another question—a question that ‘Harry’s House’ does not answer.

This is the former One Direction member’s third album. The previous outings—his eponymous debut (2017) and 2019’s ‘Fine Line’—were decent, corporate affairs. They contained music that was produced and written to the highest standards money could buy, but which lacked the X factor of its singer. 

‘Harry’s House’ leans in on the sex and yacht rock of those albums while making a full tilt toward retro synths and tight, un-warbled vocal harmonies. First among these is the atomic earworm and global hit As It Was. 

This is a track that, despite having deeply personalised lyrics, somehow feels like it has been shopped around and sold to the highest bidder.  “Harry, you're no good alone / Why are you sitting at home on the floor? / What kind of pills are you on?” Styles sings. At this point, it’s probably his signature song, and yet it doesn’t quite have the grandeur that those stadium gigs will demand.

Elsewhere, Little Freak and Matilda are workable songs that do not live long in the memory. Both are soft ballads with tight harmonies and gutsy, often sexy, lyrics. A lot of thought has gone into melodies that twist and wave and yet at the end of it one can’t help but think that there is quite simply better music out there. Adele is more confessional, Sheeran more genuinely vulnerable, if creepy, and Dua Lipa is more fun.

None of which matters, to a point. Harry Styles—like Star Wars TV shows and the Conservative Party—is essentially critic-proof at this point. The output could be a lot better and it could be a lot worse, and yet people still queue round the block to lend their support. Maybe Styles is representative of something other than his music, a kind of hipster British sexiness. Yes, maybe that’s it.

Harry Styles Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sat June 11 2022 - GLASGOW Ibrox Stadium
Wed June 15 2022 - MANCHESTER Emirates Old Trafford
Thu June 16 2022 - MANCHESTER Emirates Old Trafford
Sat June 18 2022 - LONDON Wembley Stadium
Sun June 19 2022 - LONDON Wembley Stadium
Wed June 22 2022 - DUBLIN Aviva Stadium

Compare & Buy Harry Styles Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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