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Harry Styles is definitely in love — and other takeaways from his bop-heavy new album

by Christi Carras, The Los Angeles Times | May 19, 2022 at 3:34 p.m.
In this image released on March 14, 2021, Harry Styles performs onstage during the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards at Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy/TNS)

Would you believe it? After a three-year drought, Harry Styles' third solo record, "Harry's House," is almost here, just in time for summer.

The highly anticipated follow-up to the pop musician's Grammy-nominated sophomore album, "Fine Line," is set to arrive at midnight today. And to all the fans who simply cannot wait a few more days to inject more Styles content directly into their veins -- we see you, and we've got you.

After listening to the singer's latest studio album early and on repeat (for science), we can confirm that "Harry's House" is chock-full of summertime bops, jubilant horn sections and lyrical nods to L.A. -- as well as what appears to be a sonic love letter to "Don't Worry Darling" director Olivia Wilde, whom Styles is rumored to be dating.

Last month, the former One Direction heartthrob told Better Homes & Gardens he was initially hesitant to make "fun music" on his own because he wanted to be "taken seriously" as a solo artist. Three solo albums in, that pressure has dissipated -- as evidenced by "Harry's House," which is nothing if not unapologetically fun.

"Finally, it doesn't feel like my life is over if this album isn't a commercial success," Styles told the magazine.

"I just want to make stuff that is right, that is fun, in terms of the process, that I can be proud of for a long time, that my friends can be proud of, that my family can be proud of, that my kids will be proud of one day."

For good reason, this writer is not a Harry Styles critic, so be sure to look out for the The Times' official review of "Harry's House" closer to the album's release. Until then, here are some key takeaways to get you through the week.

Harry is in love

And he doesn't care who knows it. By our calculations, at least eight of the 13 songs on "Harry's House" are about being madly enamored with someone else.

In the exuberant opening track, "Music for a Sushi Restaurant," Styles literally shouts into the void, "It's cause I love you, babe/ In every kind of way/ Just a little taste/ You know I love you, baby," setting a romantic tone for the rest of the album.

Other especially smitten lyrics sprinkled throughout include, "Now you're in my life/ I can't get you off my mind," "There's never been someone who's so perfect for me," "'Cause baby, loving you's the real thing" and "I will always love you."

Since exiting his boy-band era, Styles has reclaimed some of his privacy by keeping relatively quiet about his personal life, so it's unclear exactly what muse (or muses) inspired this lovestruck turn. But it's easy to read "Cinema" as a valentine to Wilde, the filmmaker and actor who has been romantically linked to Styles since directing him in her upcoming feature, "Don't Worry Darling."

"I just think you're cool/ I dig your cinema," Styles sings on the album's eighth track. "Do you think I'm cool too?/ Or am I too into you?"

He's at home

With himself, that is. Despite the domestic title, much of "Harry's House" -- recorded in L.A., Tokyo, Maine, Oxfordshire and London -- reflects a sort of nomadic existence.

"I'd follow you to any place," Styles sings on "Late Night Talking," followed by tales of riding bikes, driving with "passports in foot wells" and booking rooms at hotels "using someone else's name."

In his Better Homes & Gardens profile, Styles explained that he no longer thinks of a home in terms of physical space, so much as a "headspace or mental well-being."

"I realized that that home feeling isn't something that you get from a house; it's more of an internal thing," he said. "You realize that when you stop for a minute."

Print Headline: Harry Styles is definitely in love — and other takeaways from his bop-heavy new album


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