Singer Harry Styles drew inspiration from the jumbled sounds of Pink Floyd and David Bowie on his debut solo album and bathed in the mellow vibes of ’70s soft rock for much of his sophomore year with “Fine Line.”
On his third release, “Harry’s House,” the prince of pop created a dazzling array of sounds, from punchy trumpets to shimmering synths and punchy bass lines.
Considering their album title nods to Joni Mitchell’s 1975 song “Harry’s House/Centerpiece,” you can also expect some Laurel Canyon vibe. And there you have it, in the softly picked guitar notes (by Ben Harper) and the creamy harmonies on “Boyfriends.”
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Since emerging from the underworld of boy band mania, Styles has repeatedly proven himself to be a caring and mature artist. At just 28, she’s experienced the swaying of tabloid vultures, a budding film career (she’s already garnering praise for her upcoming “Don’t Worry Darling”), fashion thugs, and Grammy-level success, navigating all with charisma and a shy smile. .
In “Harry’s House” (out Friday), his desire for musical experimentation somehow never sounds indulgent and his brazen signs to his ancestors, whether new wave Funk from the 80s or 70s, they are always dressed in something fresh.
Styles’ third effort is truly a charm. Here are some highlights:
‘Music for a sushi restaurant’
Sometimes it’s okay, often Styles’ lyrics are inscrutable, and the title track is the epitome of his enigmatic talk (“‘Excuse me, a green tea?’ / Music for a sushi restaurant / From ice on rice / Scuba dubba dubub boo”). But that doesn’t matter because musically, it’s a joyous explosion of quirky pop. When a trumpet sounds in the middle of the music, it is as if the Earth, the Wind and the Fire enter the room. And that is always very good.
‘talking late at night’
As with Taylor Swift songs, Styles devotees will look to his new material for references to actress/filmmaker and alleged girlfriend Olivia Wilde. Of course, the phrases “When nothing really goes right / You stub your toe or you break your camera / I’ll do everything I can to help you” can be directed at her. But let’s focus more on the heartwarming backdrop and singing choir that fuels this carefree romp.
A blast from Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Let ‘Em In” drives the sliding cadence until the song transforms into a sumptuous chorus. Styles’ voice is altered by lighting effects, which give them a vintage tone.
‘How was it’
The first single from “Harry’s House” may be the most perfect creation of his career. Between the melancholic wail of a chorus (“In this world, it’s just us/You know it’s not the same as before”) belied by blissful synths and lyrics that point directly to her constant struggle with loneliness, the song is a triumph. Styles then injects a subtle pitch shift and opens tubular bells, and for a fleeting moment, all is right with the world.
Fans are already speculating that the sweet and melancholy ballad is inspired by Roald Dahl’s book of the same name. Over guitar and piano, Styles sings in his purest voice: “You can throw a party full of everyone you know and not invite your family/Cause they never showed you love/You don’t have to apologize for leaving and growing up.” .” Regardless of your inspiration, Styles’ delivery affects you deeply.
Most people probably didn’t have The Brothers Johnson on their bingo card of potential Styles samples. But his laudable passion for soul continues as screeching horns and a shaved top hat anchor the song, which borrows snippets from “Ai n’t We Funkin’ Now,” the R&B duo’s smallest hit. from 1978.
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