By Ella McCollum Siegfried
From being in a boy band to flying solo for quite some time, Harry Styles just released his third album, Harry’s House, on May 20th, 2022. I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that this album was an unexpected-sounding album full of enjoyable tunes and important themes. Harry’s House is 13 tracks long and a total of 42 minutes. It’s expected to be a “big summer success”, and is already proving this true by slowly, but surely, climbing to the top charts.
Harry starts the album off with a song called ‘Music for a Sushi Restaurant’. The name is a bit odd – well, uniquely unexpected, but really catches your eye (and ear!). The song is an upbeat, synthetic pop-y song, like many others on the album. Harry adds some super great backing [Ba-ba-ba]s sung throughout the whole song that people have also said are very similar to China Anne McClain’s A.N.T. Farm Theme Song.
The second track on Harry’s House is called ‘Late Night Talking’. ‘Late Night Talking’ is a fun song that makes you want to jump and dance around. When Harry headlined at the Coachella festival around a month before the album’s release, he played this song as well as another track I’ll mention later on, called ‘Boyfriends’, as another teaser for the album.
Following his fruit theme seen in multiple songs from his previous albums, the next track is ‘Grapejuice’. This song starts off with some soft-rock electric guitar in the intro, but the song takes a turn once Harry’s soft vocals come in and it becomes more pop-like.
The fourth track is the very well-known song ‘As It Was’. This was the first and only single released from the album on April 1, 2022 and it immediately hit the top of the music charts. It’s a super catchy song that urges you to get up and dance, but when you take a look at the lyrics, it’s seen that there's quite a deep meaning behind the song. With “You know it’s not the same as it was” being one of the most repeated lyrics, it makes you wonder what used to be in this big pop star's life and what’s different now, beyond the public’s eye.
The fifth track is called ‘Daylight’ and it also gives you that summer feeling, where you want to jump around while having warm wind blowing in your face.
The sixth track is called ‘Little Freak’ and although the title may seem like the song is quite scandalous, it’s actually the opposite. It’s slower and seems to be a lot about reflection, whether that’s self-reflection or the reflection of others in respect to one’s life.
The seventh track on the album is called ‘Matilda’ and it follows that slower feeling heard in the last track. I would consider this one of my favourite songs off the album– but I am a sucker for slow, sad songs, so it's no surprise that I’ve taken a liking to it. ‘Matilda’ is a song that is written to someone who is struggling with something that can be considered “not normal”. In an apple music interview with Zane Lowe, Harry Styles said that this song is a way of saying, “‘I want to give you something, I want to support you in some way, but it’s not necessarily my place to make it about me because it’s not my experience.’” He also said, “Sometimes it’s just about listening. If nothing else, [the song] just says, ‘I was listening to you.’” I don’t think that it’s a surprise that ‘Matilda’ has also started to rise on many charts because of how powerful and relatable it is, especially considering everything we, as a society, have gone through in these past two years with Covid, on top of individual issues.
As the first half of the album comes to an end with ‘Matilda’, there’s a change of mood with another one of my favourites, ‘Cinema’. ‘Cinema’ has a chill vibe that sort of reminds me of something that would play in a night lounge with dim lighting.
The next track is called ‘Daydreaming’ and it’s yet another up-beat song with a fast rhythm. Harry sampled the song ‘Ain’t We Funkin Now’ by The Brothers Johnson on this track and it really is one of the most funky, fun songs on the album.
Keeping up with the summer feel, the next two tracks are called ‘Keep Driving’ and ‘Satellite’. I think the title for ‘Keep Driving’ is super-fitting because once again you want to drive non-stop on the highway with the windows down. I could also say the same about ‘Satellite’ because the fast tempo and repetitive lyrics make you want to spin “round and round”.
The twelfth track on Harry’s House is called ‘Boyfriends’ and like many songs, it can, and should be interpreted in many different ways. When Harry performed ‘Boyfriends’ at a one-night-only concert in New York on May 20, before starting he said, “If you’ve ever had a boyfriend, if you’ve never had a boyfriend, if you’ve ever been a boyfriend, or if you’ve never been a boyfriend, this is for you.” By saying this, he really left it open for interpretation in any direction, whether that be interpreting from the perspective of being in a relationship yourself, or observing a relationship from the outskirts.
Finally, the very last track is one of Harry’s “most vulnerable” songs: ‘Love Of My Life’. This is another more mellow track, but it’s definitely not sad like other songs on the album. “[This song is] very much in the spirit of what Harry’s House is about: I wanted to make an acoustic EP, all in my house, and make it really intimate.” Harry said in the Apple Music interview, “It took time for me to realize that the house wasn’t a geographical location, it was an internal thing… Imagine it’s a day in my house or a day in my mind. What do I go through?”
‘Love Of My Life’ was actually the first song to be teased before the album was released. When Harry first announced that he was going to be releasing a third album, he put out a video that had the reversed audio of the outro piano in it. Many Harry Styles fans or “Harries” believe that it was intentional. They said that “the Harry’s House era was started and ended with the same sound”.
Overall, the album is an emotional rollercoaster filled with lots of synth-pop that keeps you in a good mood, while also containing meaningful lyrics and themes. If you’re looking for new songs to add to your Summer mix, I’d definitely recommend songs off of Harry’s House!