by Nick Wilmer
After five years as a member of the phenomenon that is One Direction, Harry Styles released his highly anticipated debut solo album, Harry Styles, on May 12.
The lead single, “Sign of the Times”, shocked audiences around the globe. Who would have expected one of the decade’s biggest pop acts release a glam-rock inspired ballad, aside from his hardcore fans? Clocking in at five minutes and forty-two seconds, it is also one of the longest songs to receive massive radio airplay in recent years.
Other tracks were surprising too. “Two Ghosts” is a beautiful country ballad, and “Kiwi” is a dance-rock song that sounds like an old Rolling Stones brought back to life. Other tracks, like “Sweet Creature”, are reminiscent of 1D’s more recent, indie pop inspired work.
For the first time in his career, Styles has co-written every track off this album, and it shows; the songs feel more raw and personal than his past projects. It feels like a sign of an artist coming into his own.
Each track deserves to be there. In an industry where executives ask artists to focus more on the singles, and just add fillers for the rest of the album, Styles has made sure that his first solo project would be good, even great, from start to finish.
Decaf Magazine gives the album 4 out of 5 stars.
Styles’ new album is available for purchase or streaming here.
Let us know what you think about the album in the comments.