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Artist Review: Harry Styles Steady Rise To Fame

Harry Styles is always vivacious and eager to interact with fans while on tour. (Photo Used Under the Fair Use Provision of the U.S Copyright Code)

By Lily Lovette--Eagle Staff Writer

He’s a man who needs no introduction. With his iconic hair and outfits, legendary boy band, and new appearances in the acting field, Harry Styles has taken the world by storm. Even after facing trials, he conquered it all with his steadily rising solo career and is now one of the most well-known and loved superstars.

One Direction was formed in 2010. A pop boy band consisting of five adored members, one of which being Harry Styles after his audition on the X Factor. The band was extremely successful and popular, releasing five albums in the span of five years.

After Zayn Malik, another member of One Direction, announced his solo career in 2015, Styles continued writing and performing with the then-struggling band for a year before his indefinite departure. The disbanding left a bittersweet end for fans but encouraged the creation of soon-to-be successful solo careers for the remaining members.

In the summer of 2016, Styles started writing his first solo album, Harry Styles. He split up his time by both traveling on a retreat and writing in Los Angeles, London, and even Jamaica, which brought new perspectives and aided his lyrics. The rest of the year was spent recording.

Pictured above is Harry Styles's album cover for his first solo record. The water and covered face position symbolize the vulnerability and reflection in his new music. (Photo Used Under the Fair Use Provision of the U.S Copyright Code)

Two months before the album’s release, Styles released a teaser single“Sign of the Times.” Former One Direction fans expecting a gleaming pop melody were shocked by “Sign of the Times” when it revealed a slow glam-rock ballad. With hauntingly sweet background vocals it leads to a soft and captivating song of life and loss.

On May 12, 2017, Harry Styles was published. With a bit of insight from the initial single, the album was a slow balladry with oblique lyrics and spunky pop hooks. “Two Ghosts” is featured as the fourth track on the album. It's a song about change and growing apart from the people you once loved, a representation of the universal law of change. The album was a success and welcomed him into a successful solo career.

Even with a strong opening to his solo start, Styles took some time away from the public for reasons unknown. To fans' delight, in October of 2019, he confidently returned with new music, a single “Lights Up,” staying in the melancholy energy from his first album. The song is about self-discovery, owning who you are and who you can become.

The cover art for Styles second album. The flamboyant fish eye shot showcases his incredible fashion sense. (Photo Used Under the Fair Use Provision of the U.S Copyright Code)

Not long after “Lights Up” was released, Styles published his second album, Fine Line. Kicking off a sensual pop-rock album, all while sticking with the mourning aspect of his other work. For this album, the title track actually concludes the album, and for good reason. The rest of Fine Line was building up to this beautifully tragic masterpiece about middle ground. The song follows a couple on a tightrope, metaphorically they are the “fine line” and while they can’t be together they can exist separately, on different sides of the rope.

On April 1, 2022, Styles shocked fans with a wistful synth-pop single “As It Was.” Taking a fearless leap away from his melancholic motif, “As It Was” is a refreshing remembrance, recalling good memories and realizing some things are better in absence.

While fans were still in awe of the newly released single they were beyond shocked by a surprise album Styles soon revealed. Harry's House didn’t disappoint and met fans' high expectations from his recent record-breaking single. Harry’s House is a warm and intimate album that makes romance feel hopeful yet fragile.

The cover for Styles's most recent album has a very editorial look to it. The upside-down house features the soulful outlook of his mind. (Photo Used Under the Fair Use Provision of the U.S Copyright Code)

“Keep Driving” is the tenth song on Harry's House. It’s about finding stability in a relationship in a world of chaos. He tells his lover to just keep driving and ignore everything else going downhill.

The seventh track “Matilda” is based on someone Styles knows personally, but even though fans don't know Matilda, she's touched the hearts of millions of people with this song. It features a girl that's been hurt to the point of indifference. He tells her that she can let go of her past if she wants to without resentment and that she can still grow and succeed even if she's on her own.

Just like "Matilda," Harry Styles has also shown prominent growth through all of his solo records and the entirety of his music career, not only as an artist but continually as a person.

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