Just in time for the summer, Harry Styles has arrived with Harry’s House, his most fully realized solo effort yet and the perfect soundtrack for hot nights on the dance floor and long drives to the boardwalk.
The record begins with “Music for a Sushi Restaurant,” which immediately sets the tone for the album; dreamy, funky and a little surreal, it’s a winner as an opener and is the beginning of an extremely consistent first half. Highlights include the sublime, McCartney-esque first single “As It Was” and the psychedelic “Grapefruit,” which sounds like the missing link between The Beatles and Prince. On each track, Styles sounds superbly confident in both his vocal abilities and his stylistic choices, showcasing the depth and growth he’s conjured since his 1D days.
The second half of the album is a bit more inconsistent; the maudlin ballad “Matilda” is an unfortunate diversion from the rest of the album’s sonic milieu, and tracks like “Keep Driving” and “Boyfriends” don’t achieve the instant ‘earworm’ status of the record’s better tracks. However, “Cinema” and “Satellite” are excellent, hypnotic tracks that add to the record’s strong qualitative track record.
Harry’s House is built on a solid foundation of thick grooves and warm, enveloping hooks; the production is crisp and punchy, giving the songs the required energy to bring Styles’ vision to come alive and create a familiar, inviting atmosphere that both relaxes and invigorates. While some moments flounder, the record is overall triumphant in its ambitions, and further creates excitement for the next phase of Styles’ evolution, which has been a thrill thus far.