Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
The Harry Styles album arrived on Friday, and it’s predictably acceptable. I don’t hear any huge hits but it’s lovely to hear Harry’s voice without bracing for Louis to arrive and ruin the song at any moment. It also feels really genuine, not overthought – unusual for a debut album with so much riding on it. By not trying too hard, it shows confidence that this will be the first of many – just like when Harry speaks, and his slow drawl shows confidence that we’ll keep paying attention. Surprisingly (to me) it’s the ballads I like best, as they have the best vocals and songwriting. My favourite is Two Ghosts, the one that’s rumoured to be about Taylor Swift. Fans have linked the lines about “red lips” and a “white shirt” to Style, the song she allegedly wrote about Harry, and he giggled his way out of denying or confirming it on Radio 1 last week. I find it more likely he’s just politely playing along with a convenient PR angle, but it’s interesting to speculate nonetheless. My favourite fact about the album is that it’s produced by the same team responsible for Cam’s Untamed, a 2015 country-pop album that I always thought deserved a shot in the UK.