Three years have done Harry Styles a great service. With Harry’s House, the former-One Directioner sings odes about what it feels like to build a home and a life with someone. He’s never been so self-assured, giving Harry’s House a stable foundation to fortify his name in the pop world.
The album bursts forth with the opener “Music For A Sushi Restaurant,” a funky offering filled with slick bass licks and just a bit of scatting. From “Late Night Talking” to “Daylight” to “Love Of My Life,” all the pieces fall into place for a sensational pop album with electrifying, lively instrumentals and a dash of lyrical levity. Everything about Harry’s House is smooth as suede. It’s glossy, never missing a perfectly synthesized beat. Sometimes this texture does not lead to the most compelling work, but Styles molds the pitch perfect feel of this album in his capable hands.
With his first two albums, Harry Styles and Fine Line, he seemed to focus on finding the grit within his voice and staking his claim as a bonafide singer. After spending nearly a decade of his career on that venture, Styles allows his voice to pour out smooth and controlled, cooing his way through Harry’s House. The pressure’s also been lifted off of the music, which allows it to reach heights not yet seen within his body of work.
It’s been 12 years since Styles first auditioned on X-Factor at the age of 16, and it feels like he’s just now allowing himself to enjoy the fruits of his labor at 28. While heartbreak and heroism led his previous albums, Harry’s House is built on pure unadulterated joy. In Fine Line’s “Adore You,” even just a taste of intimacy required walking through fire and flames. Throughout Harry’s House, though, love feels easy—it’s found in the smallest of things, with no grand gestures needed, as displayed on the track “Keep Driving.”
Some of the weaker points on the album include the duo “Cinema” and “Daydreaming,” where Styles’ visions of love remain blatantly on the surface. He commits to these metaphors of his paramour, such as comparing someone’s psyche to—you guessed it—a “cinema,” which is better than tip-toeing around them, constantly afraid of taking the wrong step.
It’s refreshing to see the singer so confident and certain of each move he makes, resulting in an album you wanna take your shoes off and lounge in, as intended.