‘Harry’s House’ calls upon interpersonal nature of ‘home’

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Photo courtesy of Genius

Harry Styles’ latest album “Harry’s House” was released on Friday. The album features songs “As it Was,” which was released April 1 as the lead single, “Late Night Talking” and more.

By Sydney Wood, buzz Editor

Since One Direction’s debut in 2010, Harry Styles has been a household name. But with the release of his long-anticipated third album, “Harry’s House,” Styles once again proves his success as a solo artist via his lyrical finesse and catchy riffs. 

One of the most memorable elements of the album isn’t any specific lyric, nor is it any of Styles’ numerous mesmerizing harmonies. Instead, it’s the album’s overall message that’s reflected in the name, “Harry’s House”: Home isn’t a place, it’s a state of mind. 

Let’s walk through the album, one song at a time. 

 

Music For a Sushi Restaurant 

“Music For a Sushi Restaurant” is an upbeat tune that experiments with minimal lyrics and a bright-sounding brass feature, which carries the chorus. In the song, Styles doesn’t take himself too seriously and plays around with fun, slightly suggestive lyrics, like, “Green eyes, fried rice, I could cook an egg on you.” 

 

Late Night Talking

It’s in “Late Night Talking” where Styles first introduces the concept of “home.” His references to Hollywood and Bishopsgate emphasize the physical aspect of having a house, as he owns property in both locations. However, he uses these spaces as proof to his unidentified companion that distance plays no factor in his feelings toward them, as long as he can be with them. This optimistic message is reflected in the song’s funky, vibrant nature. 

 

Grapejuice

In “Grapejuice,” Styles sings about spending a day with his partner, slowly realizing along the way that life feels better when he’s with them. The tune takes on a dreamy vibe, with Styles’ whimsical falsetto that floats above the bassline and monotone background instrumentals.  

 

As It Was

Being the lead single for “Harry’s House,” “As It Was” came out on April 1, setting the tone for the album’s subsequent release on Friday. A driving drum rhythm carries the song as Styles sings with a slight falsetto tone that softens his voice. Its bridge, however, is single handedly one of the best moments of the song. 

 

Daylight 

“Daylight” begins with a laid-back vibe that gradually crescendos through the final chorus. Compared to other songs on “Harry’s House,” though, the tune is a bit lackluster. 

 

Little Freak 

It’s a slow song with minimal instrumentation. In the rare moments where a drumbeat appears, its rhythm is akin to that of the “lub-dub” sound of a heartbeat, emulating Styles’ regret and longing as he reflects on a lost relationship between him and a past lover. 

 

Matilda

“Matilda” — a reference to Roald Dahl’s 1988 novel and 1996 movie, “Matilda”  —  is easily the most heart-wrenching tune on the album. In it, Styles adopts an outsider’s perspective as he describes someone who grew up in a toxic household, telling her that it’s okay to cut ties with her family. Gentle piano and guitar finger-picking melodies accompany Styles’ vocals, yet the relative quietness of the instruments isolates his somber voice, making the song more meaningful. 

 

Cinema

Its title is a fun reference to Styles’ multiple cinematic appearances, like 2017’s “Dunkirk” and the upcoming “Don’t Worry Darling,” which will be released in September. “Cinema” is a funky tune with a groove that relies on heavy drums, an uncomplicated yet present bassline and distorted effects that add another dimension of syncopation to the multiple intersecting rhythms.

 

Daydreaming 

“Daydreaming” begins with slightly echoey background vocals that are soon joined by an upbeat brass ensemble, bringing a new layer of vibrancy to the tune’s already jovial energy. It’s one of the few songs in “Harry’s House” where Styles showcases the power behind his voice instead of using his falsetto-like tone — a frequent feature in the album. 

 

Keep Driving 

It’s another dreamy tune with relaxed instrumentals that emulate its title. Although it’s not groundbreaking, “Keep Driving” is a clean, laid-back tune with a slight moment of tension that occurs in the bridge — which arises when the instrumentals become distorted and begin ascending multiple pitches, like climbing a ladder. 

 

Satellite 

In “Satellite,” Styles creates a metaphor in which he is a satellite that orbits around a specific person. It’s a refreshing song that rotates through different rhythms and dynamics, ranging from softer, whimsical moments, to an explosive final chorus.

 

Boyfriends

Styles begins the tune with a multi-layered harmony that’s accompanied by a single guitar, making this a lyric-forward tune. In it, he reflects on the tendency of many boyfriends to mistreat their partners. 

 

Love Of My Life 

“Love Of My Life” is one of the most vulnerable tunes on the already intimate album. Its vulnerability is heightened by the instrumental outro — characterized by a tinny, high-pitched piano solo — that ends “Harry’s Home” on a somber and  bittersweet moment. 

 

“Harry’s House” is an interpersonal album in which Styles addresses his relationships with others and how these relationships can embody what ‘home’ — or a lack of ‘home’ — is. In it, Styles holds listeners’ hands as he guides them through the wide range of emotions that highlight the multi-faceted, social and sometimes contradictory nature of what ‘home’ is.

 

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