Harry Styles - Self-titled debut album | Page 126 | The Popjustice Forum

Harry Styles - Self-titled debut album

Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by Vasilios, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Every one of their tattoos is absolutely awful.
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
    PEARL, AmericanMoney, Island and 10 others like this.
  2. Solenciennes

    Solenciennes Moderator

    This is true, of course. I got asked point blank by one of my best friends if I was gay when I was 18 and I panicked and denied it and then a year later had come out. Of course, that feels different because that was someone who knows me really well asking me a question I'd been thinking about since the onset of puberty probably and not really being comfortable with; which is a different setting than that sort of feeling (potentially, if he isn't heterosexual) mixed with promoting your album via a marketing campaign through media, and celebrities get media training to learn how to cope with awkward questions. My gut feeling is he just admires the work of various artists who are LGBT icons and is putting that forward in his music and image, which I suspect is what most people probably think outside of people who are willing for him and Louis Tomlinson to fall in love and live happily ever after, which is why it feels like queer baiting...

    All in all, it's nowhere near the top of the list of worst offenders so I'm not bothered by it but he's drawing attention to himself because of it which doesn't sit right with me either, I guess? It's an interesting one.
    Kuhleezi and ohnostalgia like this.
  3. But why Louis, of all of them? Louis?

  4. Really liked this performance especially since it's his first one featuring him solo w/ guitar. As oft said, his campaign rollout is impressive.
    Island and Robbietoxic like this.
  5. I can't view that album shoot, is there another link?

    The more people post in this thread the more I keep wanting to go back and listen to this.
  6. So without me scrolling though pages, is the album any good?

    I found Sign Of The Times a little bloated?
  7. It does suit the album more but I see why the went with the other one as it ties the whole pastel pink and white packaging together.

  8. All tattoos are awful.
    I have 3.
    Nissl and ibelieve like this.
  9. I low key want both of mine removed
    Lapras, spillett and Vasilios like this.
  10. I mean... I don't own gay. If someone wants to get involved and dip their toe in the culture or the practice but not become a fully paid member or even frame their submission form then go for your life sis. I never really know why people get so worked up about it. It all seems a bit precious to me.
  11. I agree. Why should anyone have to make a declaration these days about their sexuality. Not stating is hardly playing with being and being coy.
  12. Talkhouse review by Mitski http://www.talkhouse.com/one-projection-harry-styles-art-idealism/

    As I’ve always done with beautiful people, I’ve long only noticed Harry Styles from afar. I never fully allow myself to love things that I feel are too bright and too clean for me, and if One Direction was the pack of popular boys in school, then Harry had prettiest face of them all. He’s the handsome boy you’ve never talked to because you run in different crowds, but who everyone says is very nice, even though he’s never seemed to experience that awkward phase that you thought was a necessary evil, a journey you must undergo to become a better adult. You don’t pine for him; he will always be too far from where you are for you to reach him. You don’t really have anything in common with him, anyway.

    With Harry Styles, his debut solo album which came out on May 11, Harry’s trying at something a little earthier, a little more tangible and personal than his work as a member of a ubiquitous pop group. Rolling Stone noted that the album draws heavily from classic rock ‘n’ roll of the mid-1960s and ’70s; from British bands born of American blues, like the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Animals, Jimmy Page, and many more. The risky thing about trying on the elements of a seminal era half a century ago is that all of its idiosyncrasies are so familiar to modern listeners, it’s difficult to find anything enticing and new about them. No matter how well they may be produced or how pristine the recordings, what was once the sound of rebellion has become an institution.

    Harry’s vocal performances do glitter with charisma. His voice throughout the album is as precise and attractive as would be expected from someone who’s performed in stadiums for his entire adult life. He pushes his vocals to the dirtier edges of expression, in his screams in “Only Angel,” and shouts and other exclamations in “Kiwi.” I would stand like an ant in an arena crowd just to witness his magnetism; his expansion as a performer since his beginnings in One Direction. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that his solitary voice can fill the room just fine.

    But when the music behind the voice on Harry Styles is derived from such a heavily referenced time, I can’t help but take it for granted and look to the words for something meaningful, even equally as iconic as the canon it’s inspired by, something that rings true today the way “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” pierced hearts in 1965. Occasionally, Styles achieves something that feels close. I’m stunned by the clarity of lyrics like, “We’re just two ghosts standing in the place of you and me / Trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat” in “Two Ghosts,” a description of people who’ve grown apart that is so specific, it’s universal. “From the Dining Table” is a picture of true loneliness like I haven’t heard from a pop star in a while—the second line of the opening verse is, “Played with myself, where were you?”

    Many of Styles’s lyrics are so deftly evocative that they make you dream of how and where he must have conjured them. When I heard “Ever Since New York,” particularly the lyrics, “And I’ve been praying / I never did before / Understand I’m talking to walls,” I liked to imagine Styles writing this image down towards the end of the album’s writing process, after he’d gotten into the groove—or, better yet, that he’d written it a year before they’d even begun recording the album, in a hotel room somewhere, in a little notebook.

    The central positioning of the lyrics also exposes their shortcomings, which might not have been as noticeable if they were masked in a 2017 Top 40 dance track. “Carolina,” “Only Angel,” and “Kiwi” find their themes in the clichés of the bad girl who’s innocent on the inside, or the good girl who’s so bad, it’s hard to tell—they’re like Matryoshka dolls. The tradition of employing the rock ‘n’ roll muse, the mysterious, whimsical object of countless historic rock bands’ affections, is carried on unerringly in “Woman.” Some choice lyrics include, “I hope you can see, the shape I’ve been in / While he’s touching your skin / This thing upon me, howls like a beast / You flower, you feast.” The conflict of the narrative is made never so clearly as in the chorus, when Styles simply repeats, over and over, “Woman! Woman!” It’s easy to picture Styles in the studio with the producers, in need of the words for another groovy rock song, going, “Well, what could I sing about that’s the most Rock ‘n’ Roll?” It feels like lazy writing, and a missed opportunity. Imagine how impactful it would’ve been if Styles employed the sound of music that once symbolized revolution to present words that are, in turn, new and revelatory to young listeners today.

    Listening to this album has made me think of Harry Styles’s schoolboy persona a bit differently—but not too differently. It’s like looking up to find him right beside you at the bus stop. He’s started to dress a little differently this year—a little shaggier, maybe—and as you observe this, he turns and asks if you know the Beatles. You respond, “Uh, yeah?” He explains that he’s recently gotten really into them. You miraculously get to talking while you wait for the bus, only to find that this beautiful, distant boy from school sometimes says stupid things like, “You’re cool, no one else knows who the Beatles are,” or is awkward and nervous sometimes, like you. You realize he’s been raised by the same media and culture as you, so he’s been deifying a beautiful girl from school the same way you’ve deified him, but none of that lessens his charm. You simply begin to project a more down-to-earth and relatable ideal of a boy onto him, and perhaps he is beginning to form his idea of you in his mind, as well.

    It’s interesting, now, to listen to Styles sing words that he himself has written, in comparison to One Direction’s hits concocted by outside experts; to watch the idol prop up his own idols inherited from a long lineage of rock music. It’s especially interesting because, as I sit here dissecting the female ideals and stereotypes portrayed in Styles’s music, I’ve been projecting onto him our cultural ideals of the cute, popular boy in school; the Mick Jagger–inspired, charismatic rocker; the solo sensation recently graduated from boy-band stardom. He’s likely aware of his audience perceiving him thus, and because he’s spent so many of his formative years being an ideal, it could very well be that the way his audience perceives him is, in turn, how he truly perceives himself. Perhaps these projections put upon him have since become an authentic and natural part of him, and all of his words, even the ideals he projects onto others in his songs, are as real to him as his body.

    I’m reminded of a lyric from “Ever Since New York:” “You don’t know nothing, just pretend you do / I need something, tell me something new.” You’re sitting on the bus now, still talking with Harry, telling each other things about yourselves, but it’s as if you’re acting out a scene of getting to know each other. And maybe you’re already aware that you’re talking to each others’ projections, yet it feels intimate just the same.

    As I write this, I think, If Harry Styles reads this, he’ll probably hate it. But then, I think it’s fine. It’s not really about him, anyway.
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  13. Just pick a random page, because we all basically said the same thing. Solidly produced with well-chosen throwback influences, but lacking any kind of personal stamp or emotional connection. It's a fine listen but there's not much to take away from it.
    Petty Mayonnaise, Kata, Suzie and 3 others like this.
  14. This is just... eaux.

    I sort of agree with @ohnostalgia ?? Like, hmmmt. Queerbaiting is fucking irritating and the celebrities that do it really need to be called out more. It seems fine at first because you'd obviously rather have that than blatant homophobia but then it leads us to situations where Nick Jonas will spend 2 years talking about how much he loves the gays in every interview, take his shirt off in gay clubs for attention, and talk about celeb bulges in interviews but then gives us 1 "We have to stop hate!!" Instagram post when Pulse happens instead of actually stepping up as an ally for the community that he used for album sales. With that being said, Harry is incredibly private and I don't feel comfortable calling him an idiot for going the "no labels!!" route because none of us know how he feels. Is it possible that it's a marketing gimmick? Yeah, and I'm willing to safely bet that it probably is but if it isn't, I'd rather not dive into that territory. We'll drag the shit out of him if he comes out as straight in a couple months.
    Petty Mayonnaise and ohnostalgia like this.
  15. I'm surprised by how worse and worse posts on here can get.
  16. Is "gay culture" a thing? More at 11:00.
  17. It is a bit exhausting though when we're analysing someone's potential "queer baiting" just because they won't outright say they're LGBT or not. It's not like he's posing in Attitude or doing homo-erotic photoshoots or singing about potential bi experiences to whet the appetites of thirsty gays.
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  18. Why is it that some of us will accept someone's declaration of their sexuality wholesale because "only a person knows themselves" but won't just let someone choosing not to say anything about their orientation be? Harry very well could be using this as a publicity stunt -- in fact, it's very likely -- but to have determined without question that he is a cynical bastard using the "community" seems kind of hypocritical.

    Fully prepared for a berating, but I'm legitimately curious, so I'd appreciate some information without snark thanks.
  19. Y'all still in this discussion?
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