Harry Styles, formerly of One Direction, has become fairly popular as a solo artist since the end of One Direction. He has become one of the most streamed and loved artists of recent times. This is his second solo album, which he wrote songs for and performed himself. This has been a very popular release, so let’s dive in and take a listen to it.
Golden begins the album with soft hi-hats and floating keyboard sounds. Before long, this launches into a rather ordinary piece of music that harks back to the worst of the 1980s. In any case, this is throwaway music from the start. A here today, gone tomorrow sort of listening experience, there is nothing loveable or valuable about this song. It’s barely okay and has a very processed set of sounds about it. Just awful, avoid it if you can. The breakdown in the second half is cheesy and ordinary. Nothing original or interesting in this song, skip it if you can. A joke of a song, and not in a good way, either.
Watermelon Sugar comes next and does seem like an improvement on what came previously. However, it is a real sell-out sort of song. Anyway, it’s okay but not fantastic. This sounds so bland and very uninspired that it just doesn’t have neither a really decent or appealing sound. Sure, this may be a highlight from this album, but this really is a one-hit-wonder sort of song. The repetitive and processed nature of this song is awful. Avoid.
Adore You begins with some interesting electronic sounds and goes into another processed sounding song. Neither appealing nor original, especially lyrically, this is processed music for millennials only. Pretty much limited in its appeal and audience, Harry Styles is just here to sell records. That’s it. Quality control is thrown out of the window in this song. Just purely cheesy teenage music that has zero long-term appeal. If you are shaking your head upon hearing this, you are not alone. Forgettable and rubbish. Skip this album if you can.
Lights Up begins with strummed acoustic guitar and matching keyboards. Before long, this launches quickly into a groove-based piece that is still trashy, along with the rest of the album. This is an improvement, but still, it’s a Harry Styles album so nothing too original or surprising present. In any case, this is less than three minutes so it’s only a short torturous listen, as opposed to a lengthy torturous listen. Sugar-coated Pop music for people who only follow the latest trends, sadly. Avoid if you can, once again. The autotuned vocals are terrible on this album, and this song is no different. It ends with a lone vocal, terrible.
Cherry begins with some acoustic guitar picking which is actually okay. The song then begins and it is only mildly trashy, as opposed to being very trashy. This one comes along like a love song but is very much a sell-out here. The processed sounds are neither magical nor inspiring, and Pop music today has surely taken a turn for the worst. Although this song is quite an improvement on the songs before, this album will be forgotten by the end of the 2020s. Really sad for such garbage to be made, but hey, what did you expect? The drumming towards the end is cool. The song has an acoustic and a bunch of odd spoken German in the outro. Weird.
Falling begins with some keyboards and electric piano, which is fairly melodic. It is a good start to this song, but still, it’s Harry Styles. The song is fairly emotional but is rather slash-your-wrists depressing about heartbreak. Yes, Coldplay in their early days could do melancholy ballads better than this. Anyway, a really intensely emotional piece that may be the best song on this album, but is still autotuned nonsense. Just hit stop if you can, and go and make a cup of tea instead, or something similar to drink. This album is a large disappointment, but quality control is not a big deal in today’s Pop music. Depressing.
To Be So Lonely begins with some weird nylon string acoustic guitar, before launching into a bunch of contemporary stupidity. Let’s put this into perspective, even Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber are better than this. This is by far, the music equivalent of garbage. A real joke of a song and album, and the whole thing sounds like it is a real try-hard sort of effort. Fortunately, you can eject this nonsense out of your life and never hear it again. The subtle profanities present aren’t imaginative, either. Harry lacks Styles, that’s for sure.
She is a long piece at over six minutes long. It begins with strummed acoustic guitars, piano and other spacey sound effects. This is okay to start with, although once again, Harry Styles is not the greatest musician ever. The chorus isn’t brilliant, and the whole song sounds like a U2 ripoff. In any case, this is barely okay to listen to. It may be a song of infatuation, but the mixed messages and instrumentation aren’t that great. This song seems like an exercise in Pop and song textures more than anything. If you really have to listen to this nonsense, just let it go through one ear and out the other. Largely forgettable. In the second half are some really awful pitch-shifted keyboards and guitar solos that should not be present. This is downright terrible, especially for a six-minute piece. This could have been edited for sure. The keyboards get super annoying throughout, and the guitar solos are the musical equivalent of projectile vomit. The outro does have some good basslines and piano, but the rest of the song is ordinary. Avoid for the most part, if you can.
Sunflower, Vol. 6 begins with some really awful keyboard and accompaniment vocals. This quickly launches into a rather terrible piece of music, about sunflowers. Fortunately, this is a lot shorter than the previous song, but probably because it is worse to hear than that piece. The lyrics are beyond cheesy, and there is what sounds like a sitar solo. Seriously. Another piece of awful music, this is robotic rubbish for people who want the latest and not so greatest music of the 21st century. A weird and rather stupid song, there is no real appeal in this music. It is very forgettable. Once again, avoid.
Canyon Moon begins with acoustic guitar and bongos, something which has been done before. There is some skillful bass guitar playing to match with it, but nothing really good otherwise. This is somewhat of an improvement but then again, Led Zeppelin and others have done way better than this nonsensical music. Some whistling is throughout, but all the same, Harry Styles is purely a sell-out for millennial teens, and nobody else. If the production were stripped back a lot more than what is present, these songs would have a better chance. However, the computerised treatment of everything on this album destroys it. An okay effort of a song, but not a real standout having said that.
Treat People With Kindness begins with some awful gospel vocals and piano. Lame is the word to describe this ordinary song. In any case, Harry Styles doesn’t hit his target here, he just misses his audience completely. This is pure rubbish for a song and definitely in need of skipping. Sure, it is a good sentiment but any non-Harry Styles fan will tell you to treat others with kindness. This gospel-inspired rubbish should have been binned immediately. A terrible piece of music, and enough for you to hurl this album straight into the rubbish if you can. Soppy nonsense.
Fine Line is the last song on this album, fortunately, and it is also the longest song here. It begins with ghostly electronic textures and interesting sounds. Soon enough, strummed acoustic guitars enter and this piece gets going. It is another digitised piece of music that doesn’t really have a huge deal of appeal. The acoustic guitars and vocals are neatly matched, but just remember, this is Harry Styles, not an artist with a decent musical reputation. It is seemingly slow as well, and it takes a while to build up well. In any case, this song is a real drag. Harry Styles is like a cup of cold coffee that has hit its expiry date: unusual and out of time. Also, the autotuned vocals do not do this song justice, a more natural singing voice could have helped. In the second half, a weird mesh of rolling drums and trumpets enter, goodness knows why. The repeated vocals are unnecessary and this overrated album gradually comes to a close. A huge relief, if you have made it this far. The weird mash-up of sound in this song does not make a lasting impression and is poor quality material. It ends with some melodramatic string sections and other sounds, before ending with a single repeated piano note. Done, at last.
Harry Styles is another postmodern 21st-century sellout musician with little and uninspired musical talent. Should you even consider hearing this album? Only if you like autotuned Pop music and music from around the time of its release. Otherwise, steer clear of this autotuned and automated garbage and check out a real artist instead.
Very, very ordinary.