The clue is in the name. It’s who he is and what he does. He is Styles and he does styles. He is styled to within an inch of his tediously documented life. His debut solo release is called Harry Styles because this material is a window into, well, Harry Styles. The real Harry Styles, freed from the stylistic shackles of boybanddom now presents himself anew to a rapt world as a man, ecce homo! His pretty if rodenty face does not even appear on the cover art, that would be too boyish. He presents instead his back, which is much more authentic. It should have been his backside given the bare-assed cheek of this album’s appropriations of other artists’ sounds.
The third track, Carolina has been likened to mid-career Beck. It is nothing of the sort. Not even a poor man’s Beck, not a destitute man’s Beck. This is the Beck of a man who has lost everything, reduced to giving head for bags of glue. Only Angel is a risible nod to the corpse of glam rock which features the line ‘she’s a devil between the sheets’. For real. Kiwi mines the same foot-stompin furrow with even less believability or menace. It is dickless cock rock. Ballads are a fourteen year old’s idea of grandiose. Just go about your business. This is beneath your interest.
Words – Conor Stevens