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Harry Styles (album)
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Information
Released

May 12, 2017

Editions

CD, Digital download, Vinyl

Recorded

2016, 2017

Genre

Pop, Rock

Length

40 minutes

Label

Erskine Records and Columbia Records

Singles from Harry Styles (album)
  1. "Sign Of The Times"
    (Released: April 7, 2017)
  2. "Two Ghosts"
    (Released: August 8, 2017)
  3. "Kiwi"
    (Released: October 2017)

Harry Styles is the self-titled debut studio album from Harry Styles and was released globally on May 12, 2017, through Erskine Records. The album marked the beginning of Styles' solo music career after One Direction began a hiatus in December 2015.

The album was preceded by the release of debut single "Sign Of The Times" on April 7, 2017, and promotional single "Sweet Creature" on May 2, 2017. Second single "Two Ghosts" was released in August, but was minimally promoted and peaked at #31 in the US as a result. During a live concert for his headlining tour, Styles told fans he was trying to convince his label to release "Kiwi" as the third single. Days later, the song was officially confirmed as a single by Columbia Records.

Harry Styles the second solo studio album released by a One Direction member, the first being former member Zayn Malik's Mind of Mine, which was released March 25, 2016. Upon release, Harry Styles debuted at #1 worldwide and became one of the highest selling albums of 2017.

Background

Styles told Nick Grimshaw during a BBC Radio 1 interview on April 7, 2017 that he began album production in February 2016. After earning a role in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, Styles took time away from music to shoot the film. He returned to work on the album in July 2016, and completed production in December 2016. Towards the end of the production, Harry and his band travelled to Jamaica to complete the songwriting process. Approximately seventy song ideas were written during the Jamaican portion of recording. Of recording in Jamaica, Styles stated: "I wanted to not be somewhere I'd get distracted. It was a 360 of writing, home for dinner, write at home, then go back to the studio. I liked being away from everything. We were there for two months". He told Z100: "I'm very proud of this album. It's a piece of me I've never really put out before. I'm happy, I've just loved writing and being able to put it into an album. I've never made one myself before".

Writing and Recording

In his April 2017 Rolling Stone interview, Harry revealed a working album title was "Pink", and stated: "I wanted to step up. There were songs I wanted to write and record, and not just have it be 'Here's a demo I wrote.' Every decision I've made since I was 16 was made in a democracy. I felt like it was time to make a decision about the future   and maybe I shouldn't rely on others".[1] He also later clarified claims made in the Rolling Stone interview, where he appeared to specify the album was about a woman, stating: "The album is more about me than it is about anyone else. I put a lot of work into it, so I don't feel like it revolves around a woman[2]". He told Ash London on May 12: "I had one of the best times of my life making the album. It made me very happy, so now it's making me happy to put it out. I hope it makes people happy to listen to." Harry also told USA Today: "It’s so much easier saying something to an instrument than it is to a person. I really didn’t want to be editing lyrics and pulling stuff out. I kind of decided early on, that every time I said to myself, ‘Can I say this?’ I wanted to say yes. The fun thing is, you can write a love song that’s not always in the traditional sense — it doesn’t always have to be romantic or even about a person at all, if you don’t want[3]." Of his new writing team, Styles stated: "It's weird going into a writing session with people you don't know, trying to write honest lyrics. I found this group of guys I felt comfortable with in terms of being vulnerable and writing exactly what I wanted to say". Of the recording process, Styles explained: "Most of the songs started with either me and an instrument, or me with one other writer. I had lots of notes in my journal I would go from. We built on a lot of stuff. The fun thing was we were all working it out together. I learned a lot during the whole experience".

Critical Reception

Harry Styles received mostly positive reviews. iTunes stated: "Harry Styles has the time of his life and emerges a rock star. We can definitely say he has chops." Time Magazine stated: "Harry eschews slick production and sharp hooks, but he still synthesizes influences from the last half-century of rock, you can practically travel through history on the back of his references. Working with veteran producer Jeff Bhasker, Styles has crafted a grown-up rock sound that doesn't pander". Rolling Stone stated: "Harry Styles doesn’t just want to be a rock star – he wants to be the rock star. And on his superb solo debut, the One Direction heartthrob claims his turf as a true rock & roll prince, a sunshine superman, a cosmic dancer in touch with his introspective acoustic side as well as his glam flash". Vanity Fair stated: "Consisting of 10 richly produced, heavily referential tracks, the album is awash in world-weary melancholy, an acute heartbreak dulled by a fond wistfulness. Oh, how many stories Harry Styles has to tell, how many blurry, meaningful nights lie in his past. It sweeps you up in its sense of knowing, of wisdom, of age. Its mix of space rock and Fleetwood Mac and Sunset Strip scuzz and Brit-pop nostalgia telegraphs a depth, a considered weight. The album has an undeniable undertow".

Album Photoshoot

In his April 26 televised interview on Quotidien, Harry elaborated on the creative process behind the album photoshoot, stating: "I worked with photographer Harley Weird. I'm a massive fan of her work, and it was an amazing opportunity to work with her. It means something to me and if it means anything to anyone else, I wouldn't want to take away from that by explaining it. The cool thing about photos and art is you can just leave it, you don't have to explain it".

Promotional Appearances/Interviews

In February 2017, Columbia Records CEO Rob Stringer announced the album was finished and would soon be released. A television advert was aired on March 25, 2017. Styles unveiled the album cover, release date and track list via Instagram on April 13, 2017. On April 15, Styles performed Sign Of The Times and Ever Since New York on Saturday Night Live. On April 21, Styles performed Sign Of The Times on The Graham Norton Show. On April 26, he performed Sign Of The times on French TV show Quotidien. On May 2, Sweet Creature was officially released. On May 8, an exclusive album listening session was held and the Sign Of The Times music video was premiered. On May 9, Styles performed Sign Of The Times, Ever Since New York, Carolina and One Direction's Stockholm Syndrome on the Today Show's Summer Concert Series. On the day of the album's release, May 12, Styles appeared live on BBC Radio 1 with Nick Grimshaw to introduce and discuss the meaning behind the album's songs.

Commercial Performance

Digital

Upon release, Harry Styles reached #1 on iTunes in 84 countries. As of May 30 2017, Styles was the 41st most streamed artist globally on Spotify.

Official

Harry Styles debuted at #1 in over 20 countries, including the United States, where it launched with 230,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending May 18, according to Nielsen Music. The album also debuted at #1 in the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Scotland. Styles is the second UK male artist to debut atop the Billboard charts, after former bandmate Zayn Malik achieved the same in 2016. With a start of 193,000 traditional US sales, he earned the biggest debut sales week for a U.K. male artist’s first full-length album since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991. Styles surpassed previous record holder, Sam Smith, who saw his In the Lonely Hour album launch with 166,000 copies sold at No. 2 back in 2014. Harry Styles was certified gold in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Mexico and Poland. The album was also Sony's biggest global seller in the second quarter of 2017.

Track Listing

1. "Meet Me in the Hallway"
  • Harry Styles, Jeff Bhasker, Tyler Johnson, Ryan Nasci, Mitch Rowland, Alex Salibian.
Bhasker, Salibian

Johnson.

3:47
2. "Sign Of The Times"
  • Styles, Bhasker, Johnson, Nasci, Rowland and Salibian.

Bhasker, Salibian

Johnson.

5:40
3. "Carolina"
  • Bhasker, Thomas Hull, Johnson, Nasci, Rowland, Salibian, Styles.
Bhasker, Salibian

Johnson, Kid Harpoon.

3:09
4. "Two Ghosts"

Bhasker, Salibian

Johnson.

3:49
5. "Sweet Creature"
  • Styles, Hull
Bhasker, Salibian

Johnson, Kid Harpoon.

3:44
6. "Only Angel"
  • Styles, Bhasker, Johnson, Nasci, Rowland, Salibian.
Bhasker, Salibian

Johnson.

4:51
7. "Kiwi"
  • Styles, Bhasker, Johnson, Nasci, Rowland, Salibian.
Bhasker, Salibian

Johnson.

2:56
8. "Ever Since New York"
  • Styles, Bhasker, Johnson, Nasci, Rowland, Salibian.
Bhasker, Salibian, Johnson. 4:13
9. "Woman"
  • Styles, Bhasker, Johnson, Nasci, Rowland, Salibian.
Bhasker, Salibian

Johnson.

4:38
10. "From The Dining Table"
  • Styles, Bhasker, Johnson, Nasci, Rowland, Salibian.
Bhasker, Salibian

Johnson.

3:31
Total length: 40:18

Live Performances

Harry Styles Sign of the Times - SNL-005:53

Harry Styles Sign of the Times - SNL-0

Harry Styles Ever Since New York - SNL03:09

Harry Styles Ever Since New York - SNL

Harry Styles - Sign of the Times (Live on The Graham Norton Show)-005:39

Harry Styles - Sign of the Times (Live on The Graham Norton Show)-0

Harry Styles - SIGN OF THE TIMES *live* (FRENCH TV SHOW - QUOTIDIEN) April 26, 201705:39

Harry Styles - SIGN OF THE TIMES *live* (FRENCH TV SHOW - QUOTIDIEN) April 26, 2017

Harry Styles Performs ‘Ever Since New York’ On The TODAY Plaza TODAY04:49

Harry Styles Performs ‘Ever Since New York’ On The TODAY Plaza TODAY

Harry Styles Perform ‘Carolina’ Live On The Plaza TODAY03:25

Harry Styles Perform ‘Carolina’ Live On The Plaza TODAY

Harry Styles Performs Hit ‘Sign Of The Times’ On The TODAY Plaza TODAY06:12

Harry Styles Performs Hit ‘Sign Of The Times’ On The TODAY Plaza TODAY

Harry Styles performs 'Sweet Creature' (LIVE BBC The One Show)06:26

Harry Styles performs 'Sweet Creature' (LIVE BBC The One Show)

Harry Styles LIVE Secret Show London 13th May 201753:23

Harry Styles LIVE Secret Show London 13th May 2017

References

  1. Harry Styles New Direction
  2. Harry Styles Quotidien Interview
  3. USA Today Interview

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