The highly anticipated new album from Harry Styles titled Harry’s House is finally here. The tracks vary from intimate looks at emotional moments in life to outright summer songs that we’ll be rocking all night long. Styles has said that this album brings to life the concept that home isn’t a physical location but rather a state of mind, and it’s with that in mind we took a deep dive into the imagery and production of each song. Check out our track by track review of Harry’s House below.
“Music for a Sushi Restaurant”
Styles starts the album strong with “Music For A Sushi Restaurant,” a fun song that shows his playfulness. The teasing lyrics combined with some improvisational scatting makes for a danceable single that is a great lead-in to the similarly upbeat “Late Night Talking.” Like most of Styles’ lyrics on this album, “Music For A Sushi Restaurant” evokes emotion rather than telling a more obvious story, making it easy for fans to bring their own experiences to the table.
“Late Night Talking”
If you’ve been waiting for the 2022 summer anthem, look no further than “Late Night Talking.” Similar to “As It Was,” this one keeps the upbeat tempo going and is likely to take over the radio waves soon. “Late Night Talking” evokes intoxicating dance vibes that will have you dancing around your living room all summer long. The lyrics create vivid mental imagery of those late-night talks, lying on the couch into the wee hours of the night. Neither party wants to hang up and your mind is utterly consumed with thoughts of that person. New love is a unique kind of high, and this song perfectly encompasses that feeling with the lyrics “Can’t get you off my mind/ I won’t even try.”
Styles experiments with a few flavors on this project, especially in the soft indie track, “Grapejuice.” With the use of those old-school synths, layering, and the beautiful falsetto, it’s definitely a tune that could have been produced for a 90s romantic comedy.
“As It Was”
The lead single from Harry’s House, “As It Was” has deservedly become a radio hit. From the distinctive first notes to the final chord, it’s a song that works because of the anachronism of the sad lyrics and the upbeat tempo. Like Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” you find yourself nodding along to the beat before the true meaning kicks in. From a production standpoint, it’s the most sonically interesting track on the album and will definitely remain a standout single from Styles.
Mr. Styles is certainly in a complicated relationship with daylight hours in this song. Though he’s cursing the daylight coming between him and his love, the song nevertheless evokes a sense of warm sunlight, golden honey, and blooming flowers. We’ll be opting for the back garden at Harry’s House to enjoy this song. With lyrics like “If I was bluebird/I would fly to you/You be the spoon/Dip you in honey so I could be stickin’ to you” complemented by alternating light and heavy musical elements, how can anyone not feel the summer vibes?
Before hearing ”Little Freak” and judging based on just the name alone, one would assume it would this era’s ”Kiwi” — a sultry rock tune to dance to. However, as soon as the first chords rang through, it really ended up being akin to “Falling.” If “Little Freak” was a feeling, it would feel like a late night spent at home alone, with a bottle of wine and all the overflowing, invasive thoughts to keep you company.
“Matilda” carries a much different musical production than the rest of the Harry’s House album. Stripped back and emotionally raw, it reminds us that we can heal from our past trauma. Whether it’s emotional neglect, abuse by a narcissist, rejection after coming out, or any other form of trauma “you can let it go/you can throw a party full of everyone you know/ and not invite your family ’cause they never showed you love”. There’s always been the phrase of blood being thicker than water, but “Matilda” reminds us that chosen family is everything. Listen to this track anytime you need the reminder that you can heal you. Home is a state of mind, not a place. There’s no apology needed for finding your true family of people who love you for you.
This track is wedged between the weeping “Matilda” is the sexual “Cinema”. While Styles always leaves his music up to interpretation, there are obvious nods as to who exactly this one’s about: “I bring the pop to the cinema / You pop when we get intimate.” The bass line really shines in “Cinema” adding a stellar smooth and groovy vibe that will take you straight to funky town (interpret that however you wish.)
Continuing Styles’ upbeat tempo and contrasting wistful lyrics is “Daydreaming”. The beat is dance-worthy and makes you want to move, but when you listen to the lyrics, he’s preparing to leave his lover for who knows how long and they are spending a final night together before the separation.
“Keep Driving” has some of the most vivid imagery on Harry’s House, again teasing so much in the lyrics without explicitly stating it all. It sounds like being in love feels, with all its optimism and noticeable but tiny details. It’s reminiscent of 80s tracks like “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears, an enjoyable trip through the early days of a relationship.
“Satellite” begins a 3 song long downward arc for a relationship. Where “Keep Driving” was still in a relationship’s prime, “Satellite” is Styles watching his lover from afar. They are still in each other’s orbit, but the distancing has begun. The song feels much like standing on a balcony late at night contemplating if and when things will get better. She asks for space and he complies, hanging out in her orbit like a satellite waiting for her to reach out him again. It’s a melancholic story he tells, and it’s coupled with upbeat yet more subdued instrumentals giving an essence of pining to the whole song.
The song opens with “fool you’re back at it again” in reverse with shades of Fine Line’s “Sunflower Vol. 6” opening with “sunflower” in reverse. This is a beautiful and heartbreaking ballad about all the ways “Boyfriends” mistreat their partners. A toxic cycle of forgiveness and settling encompasses this all too relatable tune. Styles notes this on his first live performance of the song at Coachella 2022: “To boyfriends everywhere, f**k you!”
“Love of My Life”
“Love of My Life” has a dramatic shift in tone and lyrics from the rest of the album. It talks about a love that was lost because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time rather than there being fault on anyone’s part. The melancholy seeps through the song from the start, creating an almost ghostly listening atmosphere. It’s a great track to end the album on, a little bitter after the sweet.
Harry’s House is out now wherever you listen to music.