Fall is right around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than by listening to an album that feels like fall? Harry Styles’ self-titled debut album is the perfect record for those chilly, beginning of autumn days.
You may be more familiar with Styles’ work from his albums “Fine Line” and “Harry’s House,” which took home Album of the Year at the Grammys this year, but Styles made a remarkable solo debut in the soft-rock “Harry Styles,” released on May 12, 2017.
The album opens with “Meet Me in the Hallway,” a dreamy, psychedelic song where Styles is pleading to save a relationship. He explains that he will attempt to recover, saying: “I gotta get better/And maybe we’ll work it out.”
The second track of the album is “Sign of the Times,” which is probably one of the better-known songs of the record. It is a ballad inspired by a mother who is about to die from childbirth. She is telling her child everything will be all right: “Just stop your crying, it’s a sign of the times.”
“Sign of the Times” was Styles’ first single released from his debut album. It was a little unusual for an artist’s first single to be a five-minute ballad, but Styles made it work and proved everyone wrong. The song pulls at the heartstrings and it is hard to believe that it was Styles’ first solo single at only 23 years old.
The album picks up the pace with the third track, “Carolina,” reminiscent of a ’70s soft-rock tune. Styles describes a fling he had with someone from Carolina: “She’s got a family in Carolina/So far away, but she says I remind her of home.”
“Two Ghosts” opens with a nostalgic guitar tune. In the song, Styles explains a failed relationship, and how much they have both changed: “We’re not who we used to be/We’re just two ghosts standing in the place of you and me/Trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat.”
“Sweet Creature” is a heartwarming, folk-like song about feeling like home with someone, despite any arguments: “Sweet creature/Wherever I go, you bring me home.” Styles has not confirmed who the song is about, but he recently dedicated it to his sister, Gemma, at his concert this summer.
“Only Angel” starts off with soft angelic harmonies and a piano in the intro, and quickly turns into a hard rock tune where Styles sings about his attraction to a woman who is no good for him: “She’s an angel, my only angel.”
The hard rock influence continues in the song “Kiwi.” Styles describes a woman who lives a free-spirited, wild lifestyle: “She’s driving me crazy, but I’m into it/It’s getting crazy, I think I’m losing it.” The song serves as the perfect conclusion at each one of Styles’ shows, as the energy radiates through the crowd. Fans in the pit can be seen forming their own “mosh pits,” and Styles can be shown drenching his fans with his water bottle and doing his iconic “whale” pose, where he spits water out at the final “Hey!” of the song.
The record slows back down with the song “Ever Since New York,” which is believed to be about Styles receiving news about his late stepfather’s cancer while he was in Brooklyn: “And I’ve been praying, I never did before/Understand I’m talking to the walls/I’ve been praying ever since New York.” He describes how desperate he was for his stepfather to get better, praying although he never had before. This song is the most autumnal track of the record, with the sentimental feeling it gives.
“Woman” is the penultimate song on the album, and it takes you back to that ’70s groovy feeling of some of the previous tracks. In the song, Styles explains his jealousy of a woman being with another man: “I hope you can see the shape I’ve been in/While he’s touching your skin.”
The album concludes with the somber “From the Dining Table,” in which Styles describes waiting for a call from his old lover. “Even my phone misses your call, by the way,” Styles sings in a quiet, confessing tone. The bridge repeats the words “Maybe one day you’ll call me and tell me that you’re sorry too,” and Styles wraps up his debut album in a vulnerable way.