On May 20, 2022, Harry Styles released his third solo album, “Harry’s House.” The 42 minute album is filled with 13 of what are possibly the most personal songs he has ever written. This album is different from his other solo albums, as the listener is able to see his experimentation with more electronic sounds as well as storytelling; however, his experimentation with genre is not as prominent as is seen in “Harry Styles,” Styles’ first solo album. This album shows off his vocal range as well, transitioning from light and airy in the beginning of the album to deep and rich at the end of the album.
Every song featured on this album is either written to someone, or about them, including himself. It brings the listener into his world, providing them insight into his current internal struggles and dilemmas, making him more personable.
During his time as part of One Direction, I made every effort to not like Harry Styles, however, his solo albums have persuaded me to his side. After announcing that he was dropping a new album, Styles released “As It Was.” I was hooked immediately after listening to it.
Having now listened to the album in its entirety more times than I wish to admit, these are my thoughts on each song:
Music for a Sushi Restaurant
This song kicks off the album with a fun and lively start, along with a little experimentation with a cappella in the beginning. Styles incorporates many home comforts in his lyrics suchs as “game time” and “coffee on the stove.” This song is written to someone, comparing them to the sweet things in life. The lyrics combined with the music creates almost a sense of a celebration for life, enjoying the sweet and small moments and treating everyday like a party.
Late Night Talking
Styles completely switches tones from “Music for a Sushi Restaurant.” While the album starts off with a celebratory sound, the tone quickly changes into the story of this internal conflict he’s having in regards to another person. While the story is more conflicted, the sound is still very much celebratory, almost confusing the ear. The song begins reminiscing about the past, a common theme throughout the album; however, by the end of the song he has transitioned from frustration of the mental attachment he has for this person, to a defeated acceptance, saying “can’t get you off my mind. I won’t even try.” This song is in my top three favorites of the album.
I have to admit, when I first heard this song I was not a fan, but after listening to this song many times, it has grown on me. This song once again seems to be about someone whom he deeply cares for, the main chorus line being “there’s just no getting through, without you.”
As It Was
This song feels like a Summer 2022 anthem to me, the upbeat sound bringing my mind to thoughts of driving in the middle of summer with the windows down. This song is also coincidentally perfect timing for us seniors and the nostalgia that is bound to come with moving on to the next stages of our lives. I can’t help but think there will be at least one moment, but definitely more, when the chorus of this song “you know it’s not the same as it was” will become all the more relevant. Ironically for the very upbeat tune of the song, the lyrics are quite existential.
The lyric in this song, “if I was a bluebird, I would fly to you” is probably my favorite of the whole album. This song is about the desire he has to be with a person, wanting to be with them forever and never wanting to leave; he supports this theme saying “dip you in honey so I could be sticking to you.”
To me this song could have two possible meanings. The first being it feels like an apology to a person he was in a former relationship with, whether that be romantic or not. Throughout the song, he continuously denies the worries he has, saying “I’m not worried about where you are,” however the number of times he denies this throughout the song implies that he is in fact worried about this person. The second possible meaning of this song is that he is writing an apology to himself, making the focus of the song being a message to himself, instead.
Matilda is by far the saddest song on the album. It’s about the importances of healing one’s inner child and of not minimizing one’s traumatic experiences, saying “Matilda, you talk of the pain like it’s all alright. But I know that you feel like a piece of you’s dead inside.” This song is written to “Matilda,” acting as a song of concern, friendship, wanting to help someone heal, and gratitude. This song shows off Styles’ soft and comforting voice, his higher ranges, as well as his ability to perform vocal runs. My only criticism of this song is that it feels like every other song he has written on his second solo album “Fine Line;” however, the bridge completely transforms the song and the listener can feel his whole heart and soul poured into the song.
The first time I heard this song, I envisioned it was right out of the scenes in movies where people are dancing in a club but everything is in slow motion. This song sounds like the internal conversation one has when they have a crush, the debate shown in the lyric “do you think I’m cool too or am I too into you,” and provides insight into the insecurity he is feeling in the moment.
Opening with a trumpet and followed soon after by a catchy beat, this song is one that I would put on to listen to while dancing in my room or getting ready for school. This song is about remembering a magical night, which makes him feel like he’s in a daydream.
The song starts off with an appreciation for the small joys in life, the ones that come together to form a memory, saying “Black and white film camera, yellow sunglasses, ash tray, swimming pool, hot wax, jump off the roof.” These small moments continue into the second verse with comforts such as “Maple syrup, coffee, pancakes for two, hash brown,” with the verse ending in another of my favorite lyrics: “Egg yolk, I will always love you.” Something about that line feels so pure and heartfelt.
An echoey sci-fi sound of electronic sounds kick starts this song. Styles is comparing himself to a satellite waiting for the person whom he references in the song to pull him in. The lyrics “I can see you’re lonely down there, don’t you know that I am right here? Spinning out, waiting for you to pull me in” feels like when someone close to you needs support, yet is not willing to accept it. As a possibly controversial opinion, this song reminds me a lot of the style of songs Shawn Mendes released with his album “Wonder.”
Written to someone, presumably someone close to him, this song empathizes with the person it’s written to regarding the difficulty of relationships, and the complex feelings and back and forth which can exist. The soft angelic harmonies, especially in the beginning, add a dreamy and emotional quality that illuminates a connection with the audience.
Love of My Life
My favorite song on his entire album, this song highlights Styles’ rich deep sound as he reminisces on a past relationship, that of him and England. Styles describes the thought process of writing this song, saying “I always wanted to write a song about home and loving England. To me, ‘Love of My Life’ was definitely…the most terrifying song for a long time because it’s so bare.” Throughout the song he brings up the parts of England that he loves, while also sharing his complex feelings regarding leaving, saying that though the time living in England was limited, the country is still the “love of his life.”
Styles has described his third album, “Harry’s House,” in comparison to his other albums as being “[the] biggest and the most fun, but by far the most intimate,” and as a fan, I have to agree. While this album nicely combines upbeat songs with the slow and intimate, the listener is never able to catch a break from the emotional heartache one can feel through his songs. Each and every song pulls at the heartstrings if one listens to the genuine and raw message of the lyrics.
The release of this album is just the tip of the iceberg for what we’re going to be seeing from Styles this next year as he branches out into acting. The next thing fans are waiting for is the release of the movie “Don’t Worry Darling.” Co-starring with Florence Pugh, audiences are going to be able to see a new side to Styles, and who knows, it also might be the beginning of seeing a lot more of him in a film setting.