The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Music Review: “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles

Music Review: Sign of the Times by Harry Styles

It’s the moment fans have been waiting patiently for, and it happened at a time they weren’t so much expecting; Harry Styles dropped his debut single as a solo artist.


Harry Styles’ “Sign Of The Times” left loyal One Direction fans in a state of shock, excitement and surprise when he released the song on Friday, April 7. The song is far from his typical boy band tunes that we are so used to hearing; it instead features a moody rock-sound, his never heard before falsetto and an emphasis on guitar and cymbals.


Styles is not the first of the One Direction gang to release solo music since the start of their hiatus in 2015. Zayn Malik, who left the band before the break and now just goes by Zayn, was the first to release solo content. His album “Mind of Mine” featured radio hit “Pillowtalk” and he just recently collaborated with Party Next Door for “Still Got Time” and Taylor Swift for their smash “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” for the “50 Shades Darker” soundtrack.


Niall Horan was the second to break out as he released a single called “This Town.” Louis Tomlinson followed soon after with his dance track “Just Hold On” with Steve Aoki.


Styles’ fairly long five minute and 41 second track however is the most unique of the bunch. Many compare his sound to that of fellow Brits David Bowie, and a little bit of Queen and Oasis.


This song without a doubt is a statement and his attempt to distinguish himself as a solo artist. Yes, it’s a ballad, but it’s not like the boy-band style ballad.


He begins the song with, “Just stop your crying it’s a sign of the times. Welcome to the final show. I hope you’re wearing your best clothes.”


The piano leading into the first verse introduces you to the first bits of Styles’ newfound darkness.


The largest and best surprise from this song appears when Styles brings in his creaky and addictive falsetto, “We never learn we’ve been here before. Why are we always stuck and running from the bullets, the bullets.”


The chorus, which drives the song, brings in the guitar, creating a perfect blend of rock and moodiness, “Just stop your crying it’s a sign of the times. We gotta get away from here, we gotta get away from here.”


A cruising altitude reaches its height when he sings, “We don’t talk enough, we should open up, before it’s all too much.”


The depth of Styles’ first solo song is remarkable. The end of the world metaphor he uses to describe the end of a relationship is pretty common, but the way he pulls it off is fresh, yet still old-school. The red album art of what appears to be him standing in water, looking out to the horizon reflects his chart topping tune perfectly.


Styles seems to have a bright, and hopefully similarly dark, future in the industry solo. One Direction was his start, but who says he can’t branch off from his loveable pop boy-band. Just like Justin Timberlake breaking off from N’SYNC, maybe Styles will be the major solo success from One Direction.


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About the Contributor
Isabella Bruni
Isabella Bruni, Managing Editor
Isabella Bruni is a senior journalism major with a minor in Italian and International Studies. Isabella hopes to maintain the Torch’s vast news coverage and increase its online presence all while focusing on managing the business side of the newspaper and building relationships with advertisers. She has been part of the Torch since her freshman year starting as a copy editor, becoming chief copy editor her sophomore year and then news editor her junior year. Have any questions? Email Isabella at [email protected] or [email protected] 
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