With a monster debut that has the potential to hold up as the year’s biggest, the increasingly genre-fluid and universally appealing Harry Styles delivers his third album, shattering the alternative, rock-leaning and visually adventurous pop ceiling that he built for himself with 2019’s Fine Line.
On Harry’s House, Styles turns back towards pop euphoria more than ever since the dissolution of the one-time juggernaut that was OneDirection, giving quite a few of these tracks a funk sheen and some more soulful melodies while mostly aligning himself with the current 80s synthpop revival. There’s something about Styles’ delivery that bleeds the effortless cool and carefree attitude our post-pandemic world needs. This style is taking over the radio waves for a reason – it’s an endlessly fun playground to run around in, and Styles’ pop instincts are well-suited to step up to the task.
Switching between beachside funk-pop bangers ready to take over the warmer months on “Late Night Talking,” and some of the most emotionally-charged and well-written tracks of his career – take the track “Matilda,” which finds him consoling a partner about their tough upbringing while comparing her to the titular Roald Dahl heroine – most of Harry’s House finds Styles stepping into his role as the definitive pop star for the people. With songs this polished that somehow straddle the line between the trendy and the avant-garde, it’s hard not to agree.
Best Track: “Cinema”
Experimental, Indie, Punk