Review: Harry Styles – Harry’s House

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It’s no surprise that Harry Styles chose to open his newest album Harry’s House with a jazzy, larger than life track. “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” is the perfect opener for this latest iteration of Harry’s talent, and was an immediate fan favorite. It fits in well with his past discography as well. Is Harry becoming…predictable?

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You can buy or stream Harry’s House on Apple Music

“As It Was” starts with a piece of a voicemail from Harry’s goddaughter: “Come on Harry, we want to say good night to you!” In the video, this plays as he is seemingly stuck behind a door, and the song itself is about shutting himself out from everyone. It’s the closest we get to true self expression here, and even though it’s a great track for radio, it’s a risky set of lyrics to base everyone’s initial opinion of an album on. Some could say it follows suit from “Sign of the Times”, which is nothing short of gut-wrenching even (and especially) now, with its use of melancholia to pull us in.

What shocks me most about this new album is the amount of references to substances. Cocaine has at least three mentions and it’s clear he’s had a struggle with alcohol as well. Gone are the days of a carefree Harry singing about treating people with kindness or a girl who he wants to bring home to his mom. It seems these past few years have taken their toll on him, and it shows. He hides it pretty well behind the synths and harmonies, and callbacks to 70’s arena rock, but it’s there nevertheless.

Other than glimpses here and there, not much is said here about how Harry’s personal life is going, given the title of the album. Mentions are made of him and his lover riding bikes in New York (“Daylight”), and making breakfast (“Keep Driving”). 

I do love this album. It feels carefree, and will be a summer soundtrack for most of us, surely. The production is perfection, something we’ve come to expect from him. What I think has been missing from Harry’s career as a whole is intimacy. He talks a lot about his experiences in therapy, most recently in his interview with Zane Lowe, but that doesn’t seem to translate to his bodies of work. I truly wonder whether there will be a time when we get a softer, more personal album from Harry, and whether he will stop concealing himself behind power pop.

Harry’s House is a misleading title. It leads us to believe he will finally let us in, finally give us a real, genuine taste of who he is and who he is becoming. But, like his past releases, he sings so little about himself that he seemingly lets us in the foyer only to say, “Thank you so much for coming, hope you can come again soon!” before ushering us out and away from getting too close to him.

4/5

Photo by Lillie Eiger

by Nadia Alves

kiel_hauckNadia Alves has been a music enthusiast since she can remember. Going to shows is her main pastime. The other is being upset when she can’t go to shows. This is her first official venture into writing about music. You can follow her on Twitter.

Queue It Up: May 2, 2022

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It has been a heck of a week for music fans. After Hayley Williams wowed us at Coachella with Billie Eilish, she announced a new podcast in partnership with BBC called Everything Is Emo. Lil Nas X announced a headlining tour. The B-52s are heading out on their last tour. And of course, we received the whole tracklist for the new Harry Styles album Harry’s House. Let’s talk a bit about some tracks that were released to lead us into late spring.

Harry Styles – “As It Was”

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Harry’s new single “As It Was”. Somehow I already know all the words, despite hearing it on the radio maybe twice, and not going out of my way to listen to it on Spotify (I’ve been in a hardcore mood lately). But the whistles and literal bells keep calling out to me, because every time I hear this song in a TikTok I think to myself, “What a jam.” If the album keeps going with this sleek pop vibe he offers us here, I’ll play it all summer. He debuted it at Coachella Weekend 1, which also featured cameos from Shania Twain and Lizzo, because why not. His new album releases May 20th.

The Wonder Years – “Oldest Daughter”

My most re-played song this past week is definitely “Oldest Daughter” by The Wonder Years. I heard the premiere when they first played it on Alt 104.5 in Philly, because of course Philly gets the first taste of all the new TWY tracks – the guys are nothing if not loyal. This is the first single from their latest album, which Dan Campbell has said is finished and in the final stages of production and artistry. He seems to be more excited about this album than I’ve seen him be about a TWY album in past years, so we know it’s bound to be good.

Tiny Moving Parts – “North Shore”

My favorite math rock band is back with a new single, “North Shore”. Since seeing Tiny Moving Parts open for The Wonder Years, I can’t stay away from playing through their discography at least once a month. I love their melodies and their lyricism. I’m psyched for this single because not only is it great, but it most likely means a new album. And everyone knows that melodic hardcore is the best spring and summer genre. No other announcement accompanied the single, so it’s based purely on hope, but the guys are going on tour with This Wild Life and In Her Own Words this summer, so do with that what you will. New single + headlining tour = big things coming from the TMP camp. Simple math.

by Nadia Alves

kiel_hauckNadia Alves has been a music enthusiast since she can remember. Going to shows is her main pastime. The other is being upset when she can’t go to shows. This is her first official venture into writing about music. You can follow her on Twitter.