Glam-rock glitz and gloom in Harry Styles’ debut single | Inquirer Entertainment

Glam-rock glitz and gloom in Harry Styles’ debut single

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:25 AM April 12, 2017

Harry Styles AP

Harry Styles AP

Harry Styles likes the challenge that new endeavors present—like acting in his big-screen debut alongside screen luminaries like Tom Hardy and Kenneth Branagh in Christopher Nolan’s true to life World War II drama, “Dunkirk,” which will be shown in the Philippines beginning July 20.

His other project is closer to home, though. In his eagerly anticipated debut single, “Sign of the Times,” the 23-year-old British performer takes the musical bull by the horns without the help of his colleagues from One Direction.


But while Harry’s former band mates have chosen to venture into R&B (Zayn Malik’s “Pillowtalk”), EDM (Louis Tomlinson’s “Just Hold On,” with Steve Aoki) and folk music (Niall Horan’s “This Town”), Harry puts a Dennis DeYoung-channeling and David Bowie-inspired glam-rock twist on the modern pop-rock genre he knows so well.


“Sign of the Times” is a longer-than-usual (it’s five minutes and 40 seconds long) power ballad—about coming to terms with something you can’t run away from—that is made more ruminative and thought-provoking by Harry’s seamless shifts from steely chest tones to stirring falsettos, and back.

And if you feel that you’re being slowed down by a difficult problem in your life, Harry’s self-penned song suggests that a reality check is in order: “Stop your crying, it’s a sign of the times/ Hope you’re wearing your best clothes/ You can’t bribe the door on your way to the sky/ We never learn/ Why are we always running from the bullets?”



Speaking of “throwback” music, the a cappella quintet Pentatonix—made up of Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola—has another ace up its sleeve, with the release of its fifth Extended Play (EP) collection, “PTX, Vol. IV—Classics.”

And we aren’t just talking about PTX’s Grammy-winning collaboration with Dolly Parton (“Jolene”), which wraps up the recording’s seven-song lineup.

Pentatonix’s pristine harmonies (and harmonizing) go so well with Kevin’s boundless inventiveness at beatboxing, and they just as easily breathe new life into the group’s impressive choice of enduring standards to revive, like John Lennon’s 1971 hit song, “Imagine”; Judy Garland’s 1939 show tune, “Over the Rainbow”; and Elvis Presley’s 1961 pop ballad, “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

But the exhilarating degree of difficulty presented by the high-wire melodic complexity of Queen’s 1975 six-minute suite, “Bohemian Rhapsody”; the popping new arrangement for A-ha’s ’80s synthpop classic, “Take On Me”; and the Andrews Sisters’ iconic jump blues (and World War II) ditty, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” will leave lovers of great singing craving—no, begging—for more.

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TAGS: Dunkirk, Harry Styles

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