On May 20, 2022, the world was officially blessed with new music from Harry Styles for the first time since his 2019 album “Fine Line”. Similar to most diehard HS fans, I eagerly awaited his new soundtrack that I knew I would play on repeat every day. And now that my prediction proved itself true, where I’ve had “Harry’s House” on a loop in my head and car stereo for a little over a month, I finally feel that I can confidently and thoughtfully express my feelings towards this masterpiece. However, I believe that it is utterly impossible to rank the songs from best to worst as they are all 11/10s, so the only correct approach is to discuss the songs in album order instead.
Music For A Sushi Restaurant
I can not picture a more perfect album opener. While the name is kind of silly and confusing, I saw somewhere on the internet that Harry made this song after he was eating at a sushi restaurant and they were playing one of his songs, to which he responded “this is a weird song to play in a sushi restaurant”. Afterward, he went to the studio and made this in response! It’s the perfect upbeat, harmonic tune to jumpstart your day or blast as you speed down the highway to the beach. I can’t help but bang my head to the trumpets and drums and scream short scats throughout the song. If you’re in need of a track to get up and dance to, this is definitely it.
Late Night Talking
Harry sang “Late Night Talking” before “Harry’s House” was even released during one of his performances at Coachella. This brought even more attention and hype to his upcoming album, especially with its unique vibe. The tune is a medium-tempo tune that holds some jazzy undertones such as the background harmonies, a synthesizer, and a tambourine. What I especially love about this song though is the lyrics; Harry shares the story about how he spends all night and into the morning talking about anything the person wants, and subsequently, he can’t get them off his mind and wants to make them as happy as possible. I too, am an attached, people pleaser, Harry.
As soon as I heard Harry whisper “one, two, three” in my ear for the first time “Grape Juice” played, I just about fainted. Even more so, when he sings in his first two lines, “Yesterday, it finally came, a sunny afternoon, I was on my way to buy some flowers for you,” I immediately found myself tearing up imagining a man buying me flowers on a sunny afternoon without me having to tell him to. Nevertheless, this is probably one of my top three songs off of “Harry’s House” because of the slower tempo, guitar chords and catchy melody. His voice sounds so clear and smooth as he sings “There’s just no getting through without you”. Additionally, Harry explains how he was going through a breakup that he didn’t think he would ever get over, but eventually does, which I find really comforting.
As It Was
The song and music video for “As It Was” were both released in late March as his lead single for “Harry’s House”. I vividly remember walking back from the dining hall that night to an empty room where I connected my phone to the speaker and blasted it about 10 times in a row. It had felt so surreal to finally have new music by Harry after two years that I just couldn’t get enough of it. By the end of the night, I already had the song memorized. While the tune proves itself to be just as upbeat as “Music For A Sushi Restaurant,” the message behind “As It Was” holds more meaning. And despite the multiple interpretations it may hold, the overall significance can easily be clarified as time goes on, and things will inevitably change because of it.
I love this song. Harry’s soft voice sings, “If I was a bluebird, I would fly to you, you’d be the spoon, dip you in honey so I could be sticking to you,” which to me, is so poetic and pure. Additionally, the extended breaks where the drums and guitar jam out in juxtaposition to his smooth melody make for a gorgeous balance. What made me really fall for this song though, was watching James Corden’s The Late Late Show where he attempts to film a music video for “Daylight” with Harry Styles with only $300. It is absolutely precious and one of my favorite videos on the internet right now (although I am very jealous of the people who just happened to host Harry Styles’s most recent music video).
I will admit that the first time I heard this song, the beginning threw me off (and maybe still does) because like most fans, I was expecting something similar to Kiwi due to the title. However, the melody is absolutely stunning and one of my all-time favorites that Harry has written. Not only are the harmonies ones to obsess over, but the lyrics share the story of someone who has finally healed from an ended relationship. Harry explains that he happened to think about them and their point of view, and even though he was just thinking about them, he sings that “I’m not worried about where you are or who you will go home to, I’m just thinkin’ about you”. It shows maturity, healing and growth and I am so appreciative of it as I am sure so many other fans are who hope to arrive at that same mindset at some point in their lives.
“Matilda,” while heavily based on Roald Dahl’s story, is also centered around a person in Harry’s life who has relationship issues with their parents. In writing this song, it is clear he produced this to show to them and fans alike that they are free to start a family on their own that “will always show you love” and hopes they understand that they “don’t have to be sorry”. As someone who has an incredibly loving and supportive family and friend system, I don’t sob at this track like others, but it is so heartwarming to hear Harry offer a hand of support in the way he knows he can. This song means a lot to people and will continue to be a tune that listeners find peace in, I know that for sure.
This song screams sexy. Its slower chords mixing with rock and pop force your hips to move on their own, I swear! And his background vocal screams, it is unbelievable! I’ve heard his isolated vocals in a few videos online and it sets in chills every time. I still have yet to master his bridge where he pauses and begins in unpredictable spots, but I will always sing “do you think I’m cool too, or am I too into ya” at the right time! Harry, how could you even ask that question? Of course, you’re cool … you’re like the biggest pop star right now!
“Daydreaming” brings in some more harmonic scat in the background like previous tracks on the album but throughout the entire song, which I love! The jazzy and upbeat tune never fails to make me tap a foot or a finger … or both. He also does some background high notes which are incredibly clear and add so much layering to the tune. While the lyrics are usually my favorite part of every song, the overall feeling, instrumental and scat have to be what makes this song.
I keep seeing how people get confused at the lyrics for “Keep Driving” because at first listen, he’s just listing a bunch of random words together. However, if you really listen to it and analyze the lyrics, you will understand that Harry’s point in this song is to bring attention to how everything seemed normal, and as time continued during the pandemic and other rough spots the world has experienced, he asks if we should just ignore it and “keep driving”. More specifically, the verses “Passports in footwells, kiss her and don’t tells, wine glass, puff pass, tea with cyborgs, riot America, science and edibles, life hacks going viral in the bathroom,” points out how absolutely insane yet meaningless life is. While there are literal wars going on in the world, we continue and block it out by making stupid videos or having a relationship. The song is so much deeper than I think any of the tracks are on “Harry’s House” and it’s definitely one of my favorites.
I feel at such peace every time I hear the introduction of this song. The piano, guitar and background “oohs” build into this stunning wave of calmness for me. When the drum kicks into the chorus, I then begin to jam out like no other. Harry sings about how he wishes he could be there for this person, but they keep pushing him out of the way. They keep saying give me “a day or two” and even though he sees that they’re lonely, he’s just spinning and waiting for them to pull him in. The relatable lyrics, the instrumentals, everything about this song makes it my number one, especially for this summer.
Just like “Late Night Talking,” Harry first performed this song at Coachella before the album was released. And boy, he has never sung truer words. Harry sings to a slow tempo with only a guitar and explains how relationships are a constant cycle of boyfriends taking you for granted even when you try so hard to make the relationship work. There are just so many lines in this song that hit so deep in the core throughout the song, but what hurts the most is how he ends with “Boyfriends, are they just pretending? They don’t tell you where it’s heading, and you know the game’s never-ending. You, you lay with him as you stay in the daydream, you feel a fool. You’re back at it again.” It feels so comforting that you’re not overthinking someone’s actions or reading too much into it, but this is actually how someone is treating you. At the same time, it’s incredibly upsetting that so many people are treated this way in relationships. Thank you, Harry, for creating a new song I can add to my crying playlist.
Love Of My Life
To end his third album, I firmly believe that “Love Of My Life” was the only correct choice for the closing track. Harry sings a strong ballad about his hometown in England and finishes with an isolated piano tune which plays the same chords used to introduce his album. It felt like the perfect circle back around and gave listeners a soft landing to press “play” on his record once again.
I have fortunately secured pit tickets to one of Harry’s Madison Square Garden shows for this upcoming September. I am speechless, I am eager, I am in tears. The thing about Harry Styles is that not only is his music jaw-dropping, but his performances are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Due to this, every time one of his songs starts playing on my aux or the station that plays at my work, my heart rate increases and a scary smile flashes on my face. The all teeth, fully-stretched-out cheeks kind. And undoubtedly, the kind that I will be wearing the night that I am in the same room as him.
So as you all are reading this, I will be intently staring down at my countdown app while playing “Harry’s House” on repeat!