The funky, glittery rock infused album for all of your hot summer nights is here! With Harry’s House, Harry Styles delivers on the promise of lead single “As It Was” with a nostalgic, sometimes funky and most of the time fun third album.
There’s nothing remotely groundbreaking here- but in all honesty, there doesn’t need to be. In the several weeks since its release, Harry’s House has proven itself to have a vast listenability, with most songs continuing to get better with each subsequent listen. Even some tracks that didn’t initially grab me like “Music For a Sushi Restaurant” and “Daylight” have grown into some of my favorites. The former sets the tone perfectly for what’s to come as the album’s opener, creating this joyous atmosphere filled with love and pleasure.
Upon first listen, “Satellite” was my absolute standout track. The moment the album finished, I needed to go right back to it again and again and again. The synth heavy song tells a story of Styles’ partner keeping him at a distance, despite his desire to be there for them. “I can see you’re lonely down there, don’t you know that I am right here,” he compares himself to a satellite simply floating in orbit- left only able to watch his partner’s suffering. The bittersweet track’s atmosphere begins light- placing its listener in orbit along with Styles until the synths and drums all come together in a glorious climax. Harry also showcases his best vocals yet- it’s that damn good.
Another album standout is “Keep Driving”, a track that reminds me heavily of The 1975, which is perhaps what drew me to it so vividly. While the chorus is definitely satisfying, for me the melody of the verses and the build of the bridge are what truly make this song special. I’ve found myself humming it incessantly since my initial listen, bringing me a feeling of joy whenever it finds its way into my head. “Maple syrup, coffee, pancakes for two, hash brown, egg yolk, I will always love you,” Styles shares the simplest of details from his love affair- the moments that keep him going even when problems arise that make him question if they should in fact continue on together. “A small concern with how the engine sounds, we held darkness in withheld clouds, I would ask, ‘should we just keep driving?’“
It would be impossible to talk about this album without mention of “Matilda” a song that feels so delicately personal and yet universally relatable. Named after the beloved book and movie, Styles sings to somebody with a toxic home environment- someone whose family has never treated them with the respect they deserve. The track has resonated with millions around the world, with Styles reminding them that they don’t need to feel guilty for growing up and choosing what is best for them, even if it means living without the only family they know. It’s a reminder that home isn’t necessarily a place- it can be whatever you need it to be. Whether it’s your chosen family or the love of your life or a place of your own- home is a mindset that we can all achieve. “You can let it go, you can throw a party full of everyone you know, you can start a family who will always show you love, you don’t have to be sorry for doin’ it on your own,” he somberly sings on the final chorus- essentially giving us all the hug we so desperately need.
Other album standouts “Grapejuice” and “Little Freak” showcase Harry at his best, a blend of psychedelic production on the former and a stripped down- harmony heavy chorus on the latter. Both tracks remind me somewhat of songs from Styles’ previous album Fine Line, which makes me wonder if they were perhaps written early on in his writing process. Even so, they perfectly demonstrate how this album’s tracks are all somehow extremely different from one another and yet incredibly cohesive- which is a huge compliment to his producers Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson.
Ultimately, Harry’s House is warm and inviting- bathed in welcoming tones of a sun-soaked summer. It’s full of love, freedom and an assured sense of self from an artist who has truly grown into his own sound. Harry Styles continues to impress beyond our expectations, and we can only hope he invites us over again someday soon.
Harry’s House is out now on all streaming platforms!