Ex-boyband member releases soft rock album

Harry Styles self-titled album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200.


Harry Styles’ self-titled album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200.

Rebeca Partida Montes, Features Editor

Former One Direction member released his self-titled album, reminding old and new fans that he’s here to stay.

For five years, Harry Styles formed ⅕ of One Direction, an English-Irish pop boy band that gained a massive, unforeseen following after their formation on the X Factor. After the group announced that it was going on a hiatus in late 2016, rumors spread that the hiatus would become permanent, ultimately signaling the end of One Direction.

On May 12, Styles released his self-titled solo album, grasping the attention of millions as he presented his song-writing skills that went undetected throughout most of his career within the group.

At 10 songs in length, the album explores Styles’ unsettling battle between his optimistic and pessimistic views of love. Styles experiments with a lot of acoustics: soft guitar strums and full, melodious pianos accompany Style’s baritone voice type. A soft-rock attitude is crowned upon the entire album as he strategically places elements of classic rock similar to that of Aerosmith, Pearl Jam, and Fleetwood Mac.

It comes as not surprise that Styles incorporates a classic touch of American rock; a fan of The Rolling Stones and Ramones, the English singer is able to fuse together his appreciation of the old-school style with his modern lyricism, instruments, voice.

“Carolina” has a very Santana feel with it’s electric bass introduction that melts in with a very simple melody of drums, and chant-like backup vocals.

Songs like “Sign of the Times” and “Two Ghosts” have touches of what sounds almost like an Eagle’s touch to it. The soft rock pieces come together to reflect on inner-thoughts with the assistance of simple music. They are not overwhelming pieces of faux-instrument sounds, but rather gentle guitar strums embedded into the very relaxed drum beats.

“Woman”, “Kiwi”, and “Only Angel” serve as the classic rock pieces that have made persons of respectable positions within the rock community praise Styles for his new sound. Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac recently joined Styles on stage to play a private set for fans at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Nicks commented on her appreciation for Styles’ album. With very fast-tempo beats and in-your-face drums, Styles’ lyrics don’t wander far from the well-known style of lyrics within rock music.

It comes as no surprise that Styles’ self-titled album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Shortly after the album’s release, it was announced on Styles’ twitter that he would be going on tour. Recently, he’s been inviting fans to private, low key sets across the country. “Harry Styles” is available for purchase on iTunes.