With a step in his expensive, signature pointed ankle boots, and a subtle head toss to nudge the curl falling loosely in front of his eye, Harry Styles launched his solo career.
From the classic first note, to the glittered outro, his debut, Sign of the Times is drenched in melancholy. It’s daring to release a slow-burning, sad song as your first. And given the sentiment, it’s pretty brave. A move perhaps only he could get away with.
Harry takes us on a ride. A nod to rock n roll, it’s the final show he declares, ‘I hope you’re wearing your best clothes’.
His lyricism is adorned in a glamorous coat, just like the man himself. Worn like a tailored coat; croons about dodging bullets, getting away and fretful about the end being near tell an emotive story. These lyrics aren’t a sign of the times – they’re timeless. He knows what he’s doing.
Is it an end-of-an-era ballad? Goodbye to the peppy boy-band. A love song? Cue rumours. A grieving song of mourning? Just how personal is this personal album going to be.
The spacey soundscape allows the vocal to soar from cigarette burned raw to falsetto heights, whilst simple, sultry piano adds moments of sophistication.
Stepping into his solo role with a confidence in being vulnerable, there’s a rough edge of quiet yet knowing attitude, a core that demands another listen. Across it’s epic 5:41, Styles grows with his crescendo as a leading man. Well, he does have the surname for it.
You can even hear the exact moment you can predict Harry will take flight in the music video.
Words by Tanyel Gumushan