By Elle Daniel
Bear with me friends. I’ve never written about music before, but Harry Styles just put out a new album, and I love it, so I’m going to put on my very fancy, very professional, “I-know-how-to-review-music” hat and give it my best shot.
This album has everything. Breakfast foods. Leaving behind the people who hurt you. Road trips when you maybe should’ve taken your car to the mechanic first. Cups of wine and riding bikes and being desirously in love. In his third album, Harry’s House, Harry Styles sets out to take listeners on a thirteen-track trip of optimism and love and the idea that home doesn’t always have to be a place, but a feeling you can take with you everywhere you go.
After the post-heartbreak retrospection of Fine Line, Harry’s House is like stepping into the first day of summer and feeling the sunshine warm on your skin. That’s not to say one album is better than the other—Harry’s House delivers an entirely new sound unlike anything we’ve gotten from the singer-songwriter before, as well as a brand new take on love and friendship (“Daylight,” with its bouncing instrumentals and sweet lyrics is a particular favorite of mine). I’m not well-versed enough to tell you what musicians of past decades this album draws inspiration from—and frankly, my guesses are all over the map anyway (Gorillaz, Fleetwood Mac, and Daft Punk are a few).
Instead, know that Harry’s House pulls off the monumental feat of experimenting with a more electronic sound while sticking fiercely to its themes. The tone of this album is optimistic, even with songs like “Matilda,” which encourage the listener to let go of emotional trauma and unapologetically search for love in new places, or “As It Was,” the fast-paced pop smash meant for dancing, despite melancholic lyrics that reflect on looking back in the midst of personal growth.
While “Matilda” represents the core themes of the album, it’s “Keep Driving” that encompasses the overall vibe of the LP: a collection of memories that feel as relatable as they do intensely personal. In the same way, Harry’s House is the same kind of collection, only not just for memories, but for feelings, people, and lessons learned with the passage of time.
Home is where you want it to be. It can be found in family, in friends, in past lovers, and in new flames. Harry’s House is a glimpse inside Harry Styles’s world, best summed up by the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote hidden on the last page of the album’s booklet: “Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house, a world; and beyond its world a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you: build, therefore, your own world.”