Top Tracks Ranked – Billboard
A lot has changed for Harry Styles in the two-and-a-half years between his second and third solo album releases – but perhaps more importantly, he now has smash hits. With 2019 Thin linethe One Direction star synthesized the cursed classic rock ambitions of his self-titled 2017 debut into sumptuous, smooth pop, and hit the top 40 with “Adore You” and “Watermelon Sugar,” the latter his first Hot 100 top of range.
Styles was already headlining before these songs took off – 1D diehards are both loyal and plentiful – but their crossover appeal has solidified him as a cross-generational superstar, capable of making albums that are streamed. endlessly by teens and hits their parents can effortlessly hum along to. The fact that “As It Was”, the first single from the third solo album Harry’s housequickly became Styles’ biggest hit to date should come as no surprise: its full commercial potential has been unlocked, and now everyone is demanding more from what it sells.
Another result of such mainstream success? Harry’s house is Styles’ loosest and least fussy solo album to date, the sound of an artist in a rarefied pop star zone, comfortable in his surroundings and not having to worry about neglected corners. of himself. Harry’s house features synths and beats designed for the soundtrack of lazy summer nights, conversational lyrics that revel in personal detail, ballads that opt for hushed resonance over emotional outburst, and vocals, deepened with time, which doesn’t need to go too far to impress.
Yes Thin line offered bursts of euphoria, Harry’s house is more downright fun – a well-balanced, effervescent crowd pleaser that exhales when past projects have tried to swallow air. Styles’ experimental streak worked for him before Harry’s housebut this album feels grounded in its own skin, and more faithful to the artist it will ultimately be remembered for.
While each piece of Harry’s house worth exploring, here BillboardPreliminary picks of seven essential tracks from Harry Styles’ latest album.
7. “Music for a sushi restaurant”
Setting the tone for the album that follows, the opener “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” struts squarely – every choice here is strong and confident, from the extravagantly romantic gestures in the lyrics to the jubilee horn that serves as the hook. If “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” is knowingly messy, Styles also understands the potential for a good freakout, as this track is guaranteed to kill when Styles plays it live.
6. “The love of my life”
We can’t help but compare “Love Of My Life”, the last song of Harry’s housewith Thin lineclosing title of the album: while the latter was a six-minute epic intended to unite its listeners with cries of “Everything will be fine! “, “Love Of My Life” lingers in the irresolution and the rhetorical questions, the coda with a love which could have lasted but was eclipsed. Ghostly harmonies and finger-picked guitar licking capture that loss, and the track turns inward and evaporates to end. Harry’s house on a note of gracious nostalgia.
5. “Late night talk”
Several tracks on Harry’s house remember the dapper pop panache of Phil Collins’ 80s work, none clearer than “Late Night Talking” – which shimmers above “Sussudio” synth chords and lively percussion. Styles wants to play the panacea for his significant other (“Nothing really goes as planned / You stub your toe or break your camera / I’ll do anything I can to help you”), and his earnestness is paying off. on the track, as the listener buys into the neon glow of her romance.
The chirping hook and sing-song chorus first draw attention to “Daylight,” but the writing in the verses highlights the sly synth-pop track: Styles mixes in metaphors and makes drug references to evoke a smug haze, then shrugs, “If I was a bluebird, I’d fly to you/ You’ll be the spoon/ Dip you in honey so I can stick to you. Assonance pushes every line up low, and Styles weaves into the night of “Daylight” with hypnotic warmth.
3. “As It Was”
Weeks after its release and with several Hot 100-top images under its belt, “As It Was” is gaining momentum in the tracklist of Harry’s house, where it punctuates the devilish first third of the album. After the languid, sultry “Grapejuice,” “As It Was” arrives like a jolt of live band dynamism on the album, its crushing drums and kinetic bridge packing an even harder hit. It’s one of the biggest hits of 2022, and for good reason.
“You don’t have to go home,” Styles sings on “Matilda,” a moving ode to a friend who’s been neglected (and potentially worse) by his family and is trying to gradually move closer to adult stability. In the acoustic ballad, Styles listens to the story without inserting himself into it, and encourages as best he can; this kind of restraint works in the song’s favor, and “Matilda” creates emotional power with its soft touch.
The Brothers Johnson’s 1978 soulful single “Ain’t We Funkin’ Now” is excavated and shaped into the foundation of the happiest common space in Harry’s house: “Daydreaming” exudes throwback charm, acknowledging a killer vocal sample and building around it a high-end, brass-laden funk groove. The highlight, however, is Styles’ vocal take, which oscillates between suave subtlety and messy howls – the kind of performance that grounds a retro track in modern times, and could very well push ‘Daydreaming’ into ubiquity. .