Is Harry Styles Debut Single ‘Sign Of The Times’ Musically Significant Rock? [Opinion]

Will Harry Styles’ “Sign Of The Times” deliver on all that his pre-release date promotions seem to be promising? Could it be the One Direction singer gone total rockstar is offering fans an escape from 21st-century vanilla pop into music with more substance?

It’s One Direction’s Harry Styles, so of course, he’s going to deliver, but it is hard to wait so long. Fans are blowing up Twitter and Instagram with likes and comments. The next few days will be agony, just waiting for “Sign Of The Times” and the debut solo album that will follow.

“Sign Of The Times” will be out April 7. It’s less than a week. Even so, those video teasers, that cover art Styles published on Instagram and the new title, “Sign Of The Times” make it so hard for music lovers to wait.

Interpreting Harry Styles “Sign Of The Times” first video teaser and searching for clues about the music, viewers see a man soaking wet. It’s Harry, and he’s walking through a dark smoky indoor space. Then the One Direction superstar opens the door into a blindingly bright light.

For Harry Styles, this could be a sign of transition, or rebirth. Is this One Direction pop icon saying he’s reborn, as a musician, changing his style to classic rock? Everything else certainly points in that direction.

The One Direction pop superstar has been sending out signals all year that he is a classic rock star. He’s been seen with Ringo Star, Joe Walsh, and Sir Paul McCartney. He’s gotten advice from The Red Hot Chili Peppers and he’s been dressing up like Mick Jagger. He was even seen wearing black nail polish, the sign of a rock guitarist.

Will “Sign Of The Times” reflect these influences. People who have heard the music say yes. Is Harry saying he’s reborn, as a musician, changing his style?

Harry Styles’ understated piano music, which is similar to his piano work for “Talk Is Cheap,” in the background of this scene at first just seems nice, but a few days later, it’s still there in the listener’s brain, playing over again and again. It is amazingly haunting and memorable. Even this, makes One Direction fans crave the “Sign Of The Times” single.

One Direction fans, Harry Styles fans, hopeful classic rock fans, and others made curious by the interest so many musicians have taken in Styles work are impatiently waiting for “Sign Of The Times.”

Jimmy Falon can’t wait either. Jimmy will appear on Saturday Night Live on April 15. That is the same night Styles will debut his new “Sign Of The Times” lead single. Jimmy says he is excited. Jimmy Falon’s Twitter post is quoted in the Hamilton Spectator.

“So excited!!! A young heartthrob and Harry Styles will be on SNL together April 15th! #WhenHarryMetJimmy #FallonStylesSNL (sic)”

Harry Styles of One Direction looking totally hot with long hair and a floral print shirt

Harry Styles statement in the cover art for “Sign Of The Times” as shown on Instagram is quite different. It’s more than slightly reminiscent of a Salvador Dali painting. Styles is standing in water. Everything is blood red. The sky, the gentle waves of the sea, are all red, and Harry’s back is in shadow. Is this sunrise, or sunset?

SIGN.OF.THE.TIMES // 7.APRIL.17 //

A post shared by @harrystyles on

In front of Harry Styles, slightly below the surface of the water, are Harry’s own hand’s, palms out. It’s funny how One Direction fans can recognize Harry’s hands, even underwater. Further out still are Styles own booted feet, heels up as if he were laying face down in the water. It’s an impossible position, and that perhaps relates to the title, “Sign Of The Times.”

Harry Styles lyrics and music have yet to be heard. Sure, Harry wrote music for One Direction, but this time he has complete artistic freedom. He can write about anything, and musically he can take this album in any direction he wants. Not only that, Styles has had a full year to write his music.

Joe Walsh, Marjorie Bach, singer Harry Styles, musician Ringo Starr, and Barbara Bach attend the 2016 Pre-GRAMMY Gala

“Sign Of The Times” and the album which will soon follow are going to be spectacular. Hits Daily Double explains that Harry Styles’ new music is going to sound like David Bowie and Queen.

“[Harry Styles] has crafted a set that recalls the regal high-water mark of ’70s British rock, Bowie, and Queen in particular.”

Harry Styles’ “Sign of The Times” and the album that will soon follow, meet the high-water mark of the likes of Bowie and Queen. That is a tall order, really. It means greatness that lasts for decades. It involves tremendous musical skill, and a lot more than great vocals, which were One Direction’s strong suit.

If “Sign Of The Times” and Harry Styles debut album deliver what all the promotions promise, then Styles will most likely be set up for a great career that will last until he is ready to retire. He could be like Ozzy Osbourne, still packing stadiums 40 or 50 years from now.


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Harry Styles lead single “Sign Of The Times” is going to rock, and his album could be a musically groundbreaking trendsetter.

[Featured Image by Star Max 2/AP Images]