What You Need To Know - May 11, 2017

Harry Styles’ self-titled debut album - What You Need To Know
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

Harry Styles’ self-titled debut album - What You Need To Know

Harry Styles becomes the second member of One Direction to unveil his debut solo album today as he releases his self-titled LP. Here is everything you need to know about it...


A little background…

When at the end of 2015 it was confirmed that One Direction would be going their separate ways for quite some time, speculation immediately moved on to solo plans and what sound each member of the phenomenally successful boyband would go for.

Zayn Malik, who’d quit the band earlier that year, was first out of the traps with the dark R&B of his debut album Mind Of Mine, but what would Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne decide to do?

18 months later we have some of the answers. Tomlinson has released a collaboration with EDM titan Steve Aoki, Horan has just put out his second single, the indie funk styled ‘Slow Hands’, while Payne is busy with the early days of fatherhood. As for Harry Styles?

Well, he’s ready and waiting with his self-titled debut album, an LP that would have more than likely been with us sooner if he hadn’t secured a role in Christopher Nolan’s new war epic Dunkirk.

Still, the album is out now.


Who’s producing it?

For his first album proper, Styles has called in Jeff Bhasker, a man who’s enjoyed the odd hit or two over the last couple of years.

Bhasker’s recent credits include fun.’s megahit ‘We Are Young’, Kanye West’s smash ‘All Of The Lights’ and a little-known ditty named ‘Uptown Funk’. He’s the executive producer on Styles’ album.

There are also appearances from Kid Harpoon, the singer-songwriter who has helped pen tracks for Florence + The Machine, Lily Allen and Jessie Ware in the past, and Tyler Johnson, who has worked with P!nk, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran in recent years.


Any special guests?

Lots of big guns helping with songwriting and production, but the only voice you’ll hear is Styles’.


What does it sound like?

Styles has gone big, really big, for his solo work. The neat and tidy production, squeaky clean guitars and tight three-minute pop songs of Styles’ existence in One Direction are gone. In their place comes a taste for the sprawling, with debut single ‘Sign Of The Times’ clocking in at almost six minutes and two other tracks at almost five.

Sonically there’s a lot of classic rock on here; Queen, Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie and The Doors are all there in the swagger and the strut, while there’s a languid feel to the production. Still, the choruses are pretty huge.


Does it deliver?

Expectations for Styles’ solo career are sky high and it remains to be seen if he delivers the Robbie Williams-style numbers he is being linked with, or if he even wants to.

But, with this opening salvo, he’s made a great start.

Harry Styles’ self-titled debut album is out now and available to purchase here in hmv’s online store.

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