Harry Styles' Harry's House: What You Need To Know
The former One Direction man returns with his third solo album Harry’s House, which sees Harry Styles broadening his sonic horizons and, by the sound of it, enjoying every moment of it.
With Harry’s House freshly on the shelves in our stores this Friday (May 20), here’s everything you need to know about his latest solo offering…
A little background…
Styles’ new album was announced in March this year alongside the cover artwork and a trailer featuring snippets of new music from the album, gaining a somewhat unexpected endorsement from none other than Joni Mitchell, who tweeted her approval of the album’s title.
Rather than being a reference to a track of her own with the same name, however, Styles later revealed in an interview with Apple Music that the title was in fact inspired by Japanese singer-songwriter Haroumi Hosono, whose 1973 debut LP Hosono House became a favourite listen while the singer was spending time in Japan.
Lead single ‘As It Was’ followed on April 1, with two more of the album’s songs - ‘Boyfriends’ and ‘Late Night Talking’ - being performed for the first time during Styles’ Coachella set in April.
Who’s producing it?
Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson are the album’s main co-producers, although there’s also input from Samuel Witte on ‘Cinema’ and a songwriting credit for Tobias Jesso Jr. on ‘Boyfriends’.
Any special guests?
Not in terms of guest vocalists, no, but John Mayer adds his considerable guitar skills to two of the album’s tracks – namely ‘Cinema’ and ‘Daydreaming’.
What does it sound like?
The biggest overall impression with Harry’s House is just how eclectic it is; the slinky funk of opener ‘Music For a Sushi Restaurant’ wouldn’t feel amiss on some of Prince’s early records, but it’s quickly followed by ‘Late Night Talking’ - a slice of almost-kitsch pop that conjures the slick sound of 70s bands like Supertramp - and then Grapejuice, whose chugging pianos and filtered vocals give it a sort of of Sergeant Pepper-era Beatles vibe.
But then there’s the sun-kissed, west coast groove of ‘Cinema’ and the upbeat pulse of lead single ‘As It Was’, which take the album in new directions, while others like the gorgeous, acoustic guitar-led lament ‘Matilda’ and the breezy balladry of ‘Boyfriends’ add depth and texture to an already very rich sonic allette.
All of which might make it sound as though Harry’s House is a bit of a jumble, but there’s a tangible aesthetic that runs throughout the album and prevents it from sounding incoherent. Good sequencing can often be crucial and the balance seems just right here.
Does it deliver?
No doubt there are artists around today who could claim a even higher public profile than Harry Styles, but none seem quite so at ease with their fame and status as the former One Directioner. Undoubtedly a sonic step forward from his last two albums, Harry’s House exudes the same kind of easy charm that made Styles such a popular figure. On this evidence, that popularity is unlikely to wane anytime soon.
Harry’s House is available in hmv stores now – you can also find it here in our online store.