Harry Styles: A critical analysis.

I never thought I’d find myself writing this but I actually quite like Harry Styles’ new song. Now let’s not get too hysterical; it’s not a masterpiece, it’s not breath-taking and it’s certainly not the song I want played at my funeral. But I wouldn’t object to hearing it at someone else’s funeral. Maybe the funeral of someone I’d fallen out with and hadn’t seen in a long time but still felt somehow close enough to to feel obliged to attend the funeral of. If that makes sense in any sense of making sense. I’ve read it several times and now I’ve got a headache.

So, not a One Direction fan. At all. At no point during their meteoric rise and wet knickers, world conquering glory did I spend even the hint of a nanosecond caring about them. I suppose the strongest and most positive feeling I ever had about them was one of supreme indifference. At best. And I still don’t really know whether I like Harry Styles the man. Or Harry Styles the brand. But I think I’d like to find out more. I don’t think he’s a lost cause just yet. And I do like his debut solo single and he must be delighted with that news. He’ll be less happy to learn that I’ve not got plans to buy it any time soon but he’s worth millions so who cares. Besides he’s on Amazon Prime so I may as well make my £79 work a bit harder for me.

Of particular importance is that Harry Styles has arrived just in time to knock Sheeran off his little perch and I can’t express how grateful I am about that. We all know that Ed is simply too nice (so he says) to worry about not being number 1 anymore but I hope that secretly he’s really cheesed off. In my darker moments (like this) I almost hope that this will be the turning point in his career and before you know it he’ll have long toenails and look even more like a tramp and be wrapped in foil, rocking back and forth at the end of his lice ridden mattress as he tries to remember the tune to Galway Girl. Then he’d remember the tune and start crying because it would have only just dawned on him that it was as shit as all the other ones he wrote. Back in the day. Now you can’t say I’m supremely indifferent about Ed Sheeran.

Point is I keep getting these little flurries of good will when I think about Harry Styles. Not sexual good will I should hasten to add, at least not yet. I hope he doesn’t disappoint and I hope he feels that too. Apparently the new album is a little bit bonkers and stuffed full of interesting little ideas (maybe stuffed is too much, lets go for ‘scattered with’) and though that doesn’t make a great album all on its own it might just make it good enough for background noise on a wet Saturday afternoon. Dare to dream, Harry. Of course the really crucial thing is that he doesn’t become as grindingly successful or painfully ubiquitous as Ed Sheeran because then I’d have to stop starting to like him. And wouldn’t that be a shame?

G B Hewitt. 20.5.2017

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