Singing the Times

This month, the wish of millions of girls worldwide came true. On April 7, 2017, at 12 A.M., Harry Styles changed the lives of everyone and the music industry forever with his debut solo single, “Sign of the Times”. Nearly one month after his epic debut of his solo career, Styles dropped yet another single, Sweet Creature”, on May 2, showing his affinity for tear-jerking ballads. These releases are somewhat teasers of what other good things that are to come from his self-titled album, Harry Styles, to be released May 12.

“I didn’t want to write ‘stories,’” Styles answered in a Rolling Stones interview, “I wanted to write my stories, things that happened to me. The number-one thing was I wanted to be honest. I hadn’t done that before.”

Harry Styles followed in the footsteps of his other band mates from One Direction, with the exception of Liam Payne, who have all released their own singles during their hiatus. The band went on an indefinite break last June, following the departure of their other bandmate Zayn Malik. Malik has also released his own full album, Mind of Mine, after he abruptly abandoned the band.

“Sign of the Times” is radically different from any of the other music genres One Direction touched upon, which included rock, alternative rock, pop, and soft grunge. It is clear that Styles is trying to establish himself as a serious musician, and he successfully does so in his first single with mysterious and ominous, yet tragic lyrics, and display of vocal abilities. Listeners will find that the sound Styles is going for is largely influenced by icons like David Bowie and Queen.

Most recently, Harry unexpectedly released another single on May 2nd, “Sweet Creature,” where within one hour, it was trending #1 worldwide on Twitter. Styles croons of a “Sweet creature, sweet creature,” in his single that is undoubtedly a love song. This mellow song features only Harry’s entrancing voice and the rhythm of an acoustic guitar quietly tittering in the background. The song will place the listener in a setting where they are being reunited with a lost love, being reminded of all the beauties the person held.

Call me biased, since I’ve been a diehard everything-One Direction fan since I was a just a baby tween, but I give Harry Styles’ solo career and singles a solid 5/5. However, this rating is justified as his work isn’t just another generic product of the music industry, but rather an intimate confession that makes me feel like I’m reading his diary.

“How am I going to be mysterious,” Harry said half-jokingly in the interview later on, “when I’ve been this honest with you?”


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