Music must change

How Styles’ third studio album encourages freedom of creativity in the music industry


Photo via Instagram (@harrystyles)

Album cover for Harry Styles’ third studio album, “Harry’s House.” The album promotes the freedom of creativity in the music industry through tone shifts and the introduction of brand-new musical elements.

As someone who loves to write album reviews, I tend to take notes as I listen to the album. When reviewing my notes for “Harry’s House,” I noticed that they ended with two sentences. “Harry, you freaking genius” and “What an artist.” Two perfect sentences to describe Styles’ third studio album and Styles himself. 

As I was listening to the album at midnight in my bedroom when it came out, I realized that I would have to go into it unbiased. I could not start thinking, “The album has to sound like Harry.” Realistically, that is not how music works. 

Nowadays, when people think about an artist or band, they can immediately pin them to a certain sound or genre. But most people do not realize how constricting that is in the music industry. If music is meant to be about creativity, then how does tying people down to a certain sound allow for that freedom?

Music is meant to change. Artists are meant to change their sound and that is exactly what Harry Styles has done with every album he has released. “Harry’s House” portrays an entirely different side of Styles musically and lyrically.

Released on May 20, the album contains a total of 13 tracks. “Harry’s House” is Styles’ first album since the release of “Fine Line” in December of 2019.

Harry Styles changes his sound not only with every album but with every song. He is living proof that it works because fans continue to come back each time, hungry for more. “Harry’s House” is such an intimate album that delves deep into your soul.

Music is meant to change.

— Editor Joslyn Weber

The album mainly makes use of harmonies and choralic vocals with accompanying acoustic guitars which contribute to the intimate and blissful feeling of the album. Every song can feel like either a punch to the gut or a groovy and euphoric dancing song. Through the lyrics of each song, Styles gets up close and personal with the listeners.

Styles’ previous style mainly focused on rock-based songs with grungy guitars and calm campfire-feel songs accompanied by echoey guitar pickings that subtly put you in the feels with his intricate lyrics. While Styles continued to change his sound with his first two albums, there was always a familiar feel of his “old sound” within each song.

“Late Night Talking” was one of the songs that Styles performed at Coachella and quickly became one of the most popular songs on the album. The pre-chorus and chorus’ synthesizer piano is like nothing Styles has done before and brings an upbeat and groovy feel to the album. The melody adds to the funkiness of the song and makes listeners feel like dancing. Every instrument has its place and fits together perfectly in “Late Night Talking.”

Styles moves on from upbeat sounds straight to being up close and personal with “Matilda.” “Matilda” starts off with a deep guitar as Styles’ vocals are introduced. The melody of the song paired with the deep harmonies add to the gut-wrenching feel of the song. 

[T]he song seems to speak about getting over pain and accepting the fact that it is okay to struggle in life.

— Editor Joslyn Weber

Styles’ quiet voice rings through the song. As the song reaches the bridge, his octaves rise and add to the overall feeling of bliss from the album.

Since the release of the album, “Matilda” has proved to be one of the most intimate and gut-wrenching songs on the album which can clearly be seen through its lyrics. Looking at the lyrics closely, the song seems to speak about getting over pain and accepting the fact that it is okay to struggle in life.

The first two chorus’ speak to a person, presumably Matilda, telling them that it is okay to turn away from people who did not show them love, even if it is their own family. The song tells the person it is okay to let it go and that they do not have to be sorry for “leaving and growing up.”

The last chorus ends with hope. Stating that the person can have hope for their life. They can start a family of their own who will show them love and they do not have to be sorry for it. 

“Daydreaming” switches the album up yet again. With the inclusion of multiple trumpets and choral vocals, “Daydreaming” feels jazzy and is the perfect song to dance to. Styles screaming “living in a daydream” toward the end makes listeners feel like they are on cloud nine, contributing to the euphoric feel of the album. 

I was sitting in my bedroom crying and dancing all at once.

— Editor Joslyn Weber

The last song on the album, “Love Of My Life,” turns the album on its head, not just switching tones. The song is completely different from any song on “Harry’s House” and any song that Styles has made.

Containing heavy bass and Styles’ echoey and deep vocals, the song resonates within listeners and feels as though they could be staring at the stars forever to the song. The melody has to be one of the prettiest melodies I have heard from Styles and accentuates the song perfectly. Every inch of “Love Of My Life” proves to be perfection and was a fantastic note to end the album on. 

Toward the end of my notes, all I could say was that I had never felt this way about an album before. I was sitting in my bedroom crying and dancing all at once. “Harry’s House” evokes such feelings of euphoria, sadness, and grooviness all at once which takes major talent from an artist.

“Harry’s House” has proved to be such an experimental album, moving back and forth from bliss and heartbreak and bringing in musical elements that have yet to be heard from Harry Styles. This album was one that allowed Styles to express himself however he wants and to be truly himself through his music.