Arguably the biggest star to come out of One Direction, Harry Styles, has finally released solo material. His debut single is entitled “Sign of the Times” and it is exactly what a world drowning in overused beat drops needed.
It would have been easy for Harry to release a trendsetting song. A tropical beat tied to his star-powered name would have made for a surefire hit. Instead, he didn’t go for something easy and typical. He went for something refreshing. Something that would make the likes of David Bowie and Elton John tip their hats. It’s true that legions of loyal fans would have flocked to his release regardless of what it sounded like. It’s true that a built in fanbase has everything to do with “Sign of the Times” going top 10 on music charts around the world, including going #1 in the UK. With any luck though the song will have longevity on the charts. If it does, it could be a turning point in radio. A sign, no pun intended, that a different sound can prosper on the top 40 charts.
But more about the song itself. Styles has sweeping vocals. He croons, practically calls out to the heavens, and visits the land of falsettos. He demonstrates vocals that were never heard in his work with One Direction. He sounds mature. The kind of mature that has the potential to reach many different ages. He will have the boyband stigma attached to him for some time. Unfortunately, many don’t take a singer that comes from a group beloved by teenage girls seriously (a problem in itself). With time, patience, and songs like this however Styles should have a promising solo career.