50 albums

Braved D.W. to listen to Niall on the podcast.

– Initially he told the producer he wanted to pull back on ‘Slow Hands’ because he thought it was getting too wild/funky. The song is ‘a sexy one’ with a 70s/80s vibe. Has a big riff/electronic guitar moment. Niall said it basically took on a life’s of its own.

–Album is 50/50 split between uptempo and more stripped/guitar driven.

– Regarding the new label, wanted a fresh start and to see a different side of the industry. He has freedom to work at his pace, but he also has great support/backing in large numbers. Having a lot of fun.

– Anticipates all the guys will tour their solo music and that it will take about a year. No timestamp on 1D reunion. When the call comes, he will be there.

– Niall leaves it open that One Direction could possibly reunite as a trio after Dan wonders “what if one member decides not to return”. Says no one has discussed anything / no specific plans have been made. It’s too soon.

– Regarding Zayn rejoining the group, Niall said “the fans would love it” but reiterates that these conversations are just too premature.

– Group did not want to make Louis’ X Factor performance a media circus given the circumstances. Would have been cringy with pictures/PR. Kept things private. Highly emotional obviously. Said Louis was incredible. *sniff*

– SOTT is “very Harry”. He was listening to it before the podcast. Said Harry was genius on SNL. Very funny. His Jagger imitation was brilliant.

– The guys are still connected/try to stay updated with everyone’s moves and new music. Lives by Louis, has presents all picked out for Liam’s son and will probably see Harry record for James’ show.

– Unbelievable to watch James’ ascent on the Late Late show. Same with Ben. Going to the show feels like home. He gets his haircut there, lol.

– Not on Tinder. Online dating not for him. Usually gets set up / bumps into ppl at bars. Can be quite shy with the “odd butterflies”.

– Promo through May/June/July. Eager to get back to work. Got all the time off he wanted.

– James Blunt is favorite Twitter profile. Thinks Arianna Grande is genius on Snapchat with fans. Golf channel favorite TV. Traffic app is his fave. “oh God I live such an exciting life..golf and traffic.” lol

yamchathedestroyer  asked:

Introduce me to kpop. What is a BTS.

where to start omg

ok well basically BTS (bangtan sonyeondan) is this group of 7 korean boys who make dope music and they’re basically a family (jin = mom, namjoon = dad, suga = uncle, jhope = aunt and the 3 youngest are the kids) and they debuted in june 2013. since then they’ve gotten HUGEE both in korea & internationally and this fandom is called ARMY and lemme warn u, once u join it’s pretty much a life sentence :’)

Originally posted by bang-tan

if u wanna get to know the members here’s a very brief intro:

Rap Monster (Kim Namjoon):

Originally posted by taestylips

  • leader
  • producer & writer of a lot of their songs
  • Bang PD (CEO of BigHit, their company) said he created BTS because of namjoon 
  • so without him there wouldn’t have been bts ugh my heart has so much room for namjoon
  • ANYWAY. HE’S SUPER TALENTED AND HE’S ONLY 22, released a mixtape titled “RM” that got on the Top 50 Hip Hop Albums of 2015 by US SPIN which is amazing (you should take a listen)
  • known to break things he touches
  • is actually very soft and nerdy on days when he’s not Rap Monster aka spitting pure fire into the mic on stage
  • part of the 2 man No Dance Line with Jin (but honestly both of them are way better dancers than u and i will ever be)
  • posts outfit of the day pics on twitter with hashtag #KimDaily

Jin (Kim Seokjin):

Originally posted by bts0726

  • oldest member, born in 1992
  • became trending as #cardoorguy after he walked out of their car to walk the red carpet in 2015 melon music awards because ppl wanted to know who this handsome bastard was
  • cooks for the other members :’) thus the nickname of being the mom in the group
  • likes the nickname of Pink Princess fans gave him
  • does mukbang shows called Eat Jin where he literally just eats food and gets super excited about it
  • voice of an angel
  • studies acting in university
  • the only one who can put suga in his place

Suga (Min Yoongi)

Originally posted by bwiseoks

  • one of the 3 talented rappers of the group
  • released his mixtape this year “Agust D” (give it a listen) that literally slayed us all
  • struggled in his trainee days and talks about it in his mixtape
  • second oldest, born in 1993
  • not the most talkative but will be savage af when needs to be 
  • aka doesn’t take anyone’s shit
  • also produces and writes their songs
  • his hair color changes like every single era but he somehow pulls off all of them???
  • has a tough exterior but is a soft ball of love past it :’)

J-hope (Jung Hoseok)

Originally posted by fyeahbangtaned

  • other half of 94 line
  • DANCING MACHINEEEE HOLY SHIT if you watch his “Hope on the street” videos on their v app channel or any bts performance video you’ll see what i mean
  • helps the other members with choreo
  • used to be a street performer before BTS. learned rapping after he joined and he’s hella good at it (listen to his track 1 verse)
  • when will bighit release his forehead again
  • loudest of all of them lmao

JImin (Park Jimin)

Originally posted by jimineh

  • the other half of 95z 
  • (the reason why i got into bts)
  • amazing dancer
  • his vocal skills are also 10/10, hits them high notes as precisely as he hits the choreo
  • I WILL NEVER BE OVER HIS THIC THIGHS #thicthighssavelives
  • a selfless cinnabon, too pure for this world. puts the members before himself, always. it kills me how much he loves them. like he will tweet the most supportive things, is the photographer of #kimdaily and always praises them before himself ughhhhhhhhhh my heart
  • perfectionist
  • his solo song Lies did really well, ranked #2 after their title track on melon charts
  • smol bean

V (Kim Taehyung)

Originally posted by hellosarang

  • other half of 95z (btw if you want to know more about 95z or the other ships, that will have to be another post because i have A LOT to say about them)
  • listen to his deep voice to understand how wonderful of a singer he is
  • actor!!! going to debut in his upcoming drama Hwarang soon :’) 
  • cutie with a soft spot for dogs, his late grandma, babies, and jimin
  • very kind hearted and pure soul
  • rude af on stage tho (if you saw the taejin moment during MAMA u know what i mean)

Jungkook (Jeon Jeongguk)

Originally posted by baebsaes

  • maknae (youngest member), born in 1997 but does not act like it at all
  • nicknamed ‘golden maknae’ cause he can do literally everything and do them well (even bowling)
  • talented af. triple threat (sings, dances and raps)
  • his hyungs all dote on him so much :’)
  • its moving how much he quietly cares for them (his solo song Begin was written based on how he felt like the other members raised him since he joined kpop industry at such a young age and that meant being away from home since he was like 14)
  • has a thing for plain tees
  • has one celeb friend, yugeom from got7 :’)
  • a walking human meme 


170216 Why BTS' 'Spring Day' Is the Perfect Move for the K-Pop Boy Band -- Both Artistically & Professionally

If there’s a K-pop act that is navigating the global music scene best, BTS is arguably the top choice. Since their 2013 debut, the boy band has broken records on the Billboard 200 – becoming the Korean act to land the most albums on the chart and net the biggest first-week opening – in addition to being a constant presence on charts like Billboard’s Social 50, World Albums and World Digital Song Sales tallies. Yet, it’s only with their latest release “Spring Day” that a BTS single seems most likely to break the group into new chart territory and that’s thanks to smart artistic and professional decisions.

Undoubtedly, BTS has found the major enthusiasm for their LPs thanks to the deeper social and personal topics the band discusses with past album tracks touching on bullying, mental health and the dark sides of adolescence. Meanwhile, past singles like “Run” and “Blood, Sweat & Tears” and their accompanying videos stood out for exploring deep devotion, but ultimately only explored that one topic. “Spring Day” takes things a step farther by getting more into the journey one takes during a tough time or break up.

On the single, the members sing and rap about an internal winter inside them due to missing someone and, at first, there does not seem to be an end to the heartache – likely a commentary on depression and mental health, topics the band had discussed in past album tracks and mixtapes. Yet by the end of “Spring Day,” there is a change and the boys describe how there is a light and warmness that inevitably comes with Jungkook declaring, “No darkness, no season, is forever.”

The guys are still pining for their lost love, but they aren’t staying in a one-track mindset. Instead, they use the weather and seasonal metaphors to describe how things get better – a lesson many of their young fans can find comfort in when dealing with relationships, or school, friends, family, their careers or beyond. While it’s all done over hard-hitting beats, buttery vocals and punchy rap verses – as one would expect from any BTS release – it’s this newfound maturity and enlightenment that makes the single stand out so much.

Not only was “Spring Day” a smart artistic move, but it was extremely savvy for BTS and their Korean label BigHit Entertainment to focus on one single for the repackaged deluxe version of their hit album Wings titled You Never Walk Alone.

Wings already broke – and continues to break – multiple chart records, including when it became the first K-pop album to spend multiple weeks on the Billboard 200 and also as it celebrates a remarkable 18th week on World Albums this week. By leading a re-ignited excitement over You Never Walk Alone with one single, fans are more than ever collectively focused on this one song.

That focus was seen when “Spring Day” flew into the the Top 10 of the Top Overall Songs chart on U.S. iTunes after its release on Sunday and remained high even as tracks from the 2017 Grammys began racing up the rankings. No K-pop group has sent a song as high on the iTunes singles chart, with only PSY being the other Korean act to land a song as high when “Gangnam Style” topped the ranking in 2012. A tweet from BigHit’s CEO Bang Sihyuk even commented on the accomplishment on Twitter.

The hype for “Spring Day” is particularly high in America as the band gears up for three arena concerts in America, a major indication of the fans ready to support, buy, stream and watch the music video for this single and not be as distracted by a full-length album’s worth of material. (Though, one should not disregard the new tracks including ultra-fierce “Not Today,” the long-awaited thumper “Outro: Wings,” or the introspective “A Supplemental Story: You Never Walk Alone.”)

There are hurdles BTS will need to jump over to have their single be a chart hit in America, including releasing the song two days after the charting period started on Friday and major competition from songs associated with the Grammys. But if the numbers end up in BTS’ favor and they chart a single on the Billboard Hot 100 – or even the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, which counts the 25 singles just below the top 100 – it will be a major accomplishment, but not one unearned. By continuing to progress as artists, the band’s business- and chart-savvy moves only make their releases able to be that much more celebrated.

© Billboard


Miles Davis - Blue In Green (Kind Of Blue, 1959)

Miles Davis – trumpet
John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
Bill Evans – piano
Paul Chambers – double bass
Jimmy Cobb – drums

Harry Styles' Revealing New Album Doc: 10 Things We Learned
Read 10 things we learned from Harry Styles' new Apple Music album doc, from why he cut his hair to what it felt like to regain his private life.

Following the release of his self-titled debut, Harry Styles has given fans an inside look at the process of making the record in a new Apple Music documentary titled Harry Styles: Behind the Album. The 50-minute feature shows Styles playing the complete album for the first time in between recording sessions with his band and producer Jeff Bhasker in Jamaica and London. While the 23-year-old has been extremely candid about his life in the year following One Direction’s hiatus, he opens up even further here as he details the process of writing and recording Harry Styles. Here are 10 things we learned from the film.

1. Styles first performed the album all the way through at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.
The live scenes from the film show Styles fronting his new band at rock’s holiest ground: Abbey Road Studios. Not only was it a convenient location since he lives close by, but the site also held a special significance for the lifelong Beatles fan. Styles notes the “aura about the place” that drew him in.

2. He relished the opportunity to live a totally private life for a full year.
For five years, One Direction was the biggest band in the world. They sold out stadiums on their back-to-back tours while fans and tabloids followed their every move. Having spent his teenage years in the harsh spotlight, Styles was able to slip away from the immense fame he experienced – living quietly at home with his family – and retreat to Jamaica to make music. As he put it, he “made myself get bored.”

3. Don’t get it twisted, though: He loved being in One Direction.
“When you leave a band, a boy band, you feel like you have to go the complete other direction and say, ‘Don’t worry everyone, I hated it. It wasn’t me,’” Styles explains before noting that his experience in and out of the group was filled with nothing but real, genuine love and appreciation. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that band.” As positive as the experience was, the young artists felt a lot of pressure to get bigger with each album and tour, and Styles is glad the group’s first phase ended on a high note. Having that experience has allowed him to feel like he can pursue a less intense, maybe even smaller career than what he did with One Direction.

4. Cutting off his long hair helped him to make a fresh start.
For the latter half of his time in 1D, Styles became “the one with the long hair,” as he views it. During their Made in the A.M. era, his long tresses fell below his shoulder and became an important part of his look. In the documentary, cutting off his hair is a symbolic, momentous occasion that helps him enter a new era of his life and career. Still, he tries to not dwell on that too much during the interview scenes. “I was about to personify my hair, but then I decided not to,” he jokes.

5. He gave collaborator Mitch Rowland a handmade guitar.
One of Styles’ main collaborators on the LP is Mitch Rowland, who joined the band by chance. Rowland had been working at a pizza shop before teaming up with Styles, Bhasker and the rest of their crew, and he ended up co-writing every song with Styles. In a tender scene from the documentary, the singer shows his appreciation for the musician by giving him a gorgeous handmade guitar. As his own thank you, Rowland offers Styles the guitar he had been playing throughout the process of creating the album after playing his own “farewell solo” on it.

6. Jeff Bhasker helped Styles grow as a songwriter.
Styles has nothing but compliments for the superstar producer whom he credits with helping him grow as a songwriter. For Styles, Bhasker’s encouragement and support was an integral part of the writing process for his solo debut. According to him, he had written several duds early on, and instead of dismissing the tracks entirely, Bhasker found “the good bits” and they continued on with those.

7. “Carolina” was the last song written for the album.
Bhasker was looking for a rocker with a good melody to round out the album, so Styles served up the riveting, early-Sixties-ish “Carolina” to fulfill the producer’s order. “It was the little bit of fun we had been wanting but didn’t have,” Styles says of the song. It is also the only song in the documentary that Styles confirms to be about a specific person whose name is in the lyrics. Sleuthing fans have connected the song to a fan named Townes whom he had met once when she was 17 years old. According to Styles, he has seen her once since writing the tune though he did not reveal to her that he had written a song about their one-time encounter.

8. He remains diplomatic when it comes to writing songs about other people – and having songs written about him.
“To have been part of a moment that means something to someone enough for them to write a song about it is a huge compliment,” Styles reveals. He is careful not to name names but he is confident that the people he sings about on his debut solo album will be able to connect specific moments mentioned in the lyrics with their personal experiences. Asked about the times when the tables have been turned on him, Styles offers a coy “no comment.”

9. Seeing a gospel choir record backing vocals for “Sign of the Times” made him emotional.
One specific moment during the recording process that left a major impression on Styles was the experience of sitting in the room as a gospel choir recorded massive, angelic harmonies for his first solo single “Sign of the Times.” In footage of Styles experiencing this moment, he clutches his face and even runs up to hug the soloist towards the end of the session.

10. He had to have a prosthetic version of his face made while filming his first music video.
After photos from the set of the “Sign of the Times” video leaked on Twitter, fans shared spooky images of a man wearing a prosthetic version of Styles’ face while flying in the sky. The Michael Myers–esque mask was created in case Styles needed a stuntman for the video, which features him flying through mountains and over the sea while singing the song.

wishing on a star that’s just a satellite (1/13)


multiple triggers apply, feel free to change as needed

  • Will this nightmare ever end?
  • I got a thousand regrets, and now I’m on one.
  • Wake me up if I sleep, ‘cause I’m haunted by my dreams.
  • I’m a moth to a flame and I’ll burn for the hell of it.
  • I push you away until you beg me to stay.
  • But if I find a way to turn it all around would you follow me?
  • I am a man at war and I am fighting for all of the broken people.
  • They say that I’m reckless because I’m relentless.
  • We were born for greatness.
  • The sky is falling and the world has gone mad.
  • Give me the truth, don’t tell me your lies.
  • And I’m growing numb to the violence, sing along to the sounds of the sirens.
  • You’re telling me to keep my hope ‘cause you’ve got a heart of gold, but maybe you should let me go.
  • It’s like I’ve got the whole world tied around my feet.
  • It’s only going to make it worse.
  • I can’t pretend that I ain’t been through hell.
  • I think I need help.
  • I just saw a baby bump in my girl’s waist.
  • I need a drink to feel right.
  • You don’t need to hide in the dark.
  • Don’t want no part of this.
  • They’re speaking in tongues.
  • Take me to church ‘cause I’ve been blessed with a curse.
  • I got shot down by the ricochet.
  • I’m bleeding freedom through the stitches in my skin.
  • Nothing’s ever gonna change if you don’t stand up.
  • Deep down it hurts that I can’t do a thing.
  • Stand at the altar, swear me a promise.
  • If you’ve been kicked down, get back to your feet.
  • But after everything that you’ve been through I know you did the best that you could do.
  • In darkness you’re still beautiful.
  • I know all about the pain you’re feeling.
The Top 50 Albums of 2016

2016 was a massive year for music. Hip-Hop projects were phenomenal this year and the resurgence of R&B and consistency of Alt-Rock made a year when several big name artists released arguably their best albums. Here’s my top 50 (based on personal opinion and how much I replay them in my car, not lyricism or musicality.)

50. Yes Lawd! // NxWorries

49. Sept. 5th // dvsn

48. Ology // Gallant

47. The Colour in Anything // James Blake

46. 99.9% // KAYTRANADA

45. Skin // Flume

44. Freetown Sound // Blood Orange

43.Nothing’s Real // Shura

42. …and the Anonymous Nobody // De La Soul

41. Major Key // DJ Khaled

40. The Sun’s Tirade // Isaiah Rashad

39. Do What Thou Wilt! // Ab-Soul

38. Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends // A$AP Mob

37. Wild World // Bastille

36. Starboy // The Weeknd

35. Endless // Frank Ocean

34. Big Baby D.R.A.M. // D.R.A.M.

33. You Are Forgiven // MadeInTYO

32. The Perfect LUV Tape // Lil Uzi Vert

31. Stoney // Post Malone

30. Atrocity Exhibition // Danny Brown

29. The Divine Feminine // Mac Miller

28. Pain, Passion & Demon Slaying // Kid Cudi

27. Malibu // Anderson .Paak

26. Puberty 2 // Mitski

25. Still Brazy // Y.G.

24. Blank Face LP // ScHoolBoy Q

23. 3001: A Laced Oddysey // Flatbush Zombies

22. Majid Jordan // Majid Jordan

21. untitled unmastered // Kendrick Lamar

20. 22, a Million // Bon Iver

19. Slime Season 3 // Young Thug

18. Home of the Strange // Young The Giant

17. Weezer (White Album) // Weezer

16. Views // Drake

15. I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it // The 1975

14. Farewell, Starlite! // Francis & the Lights

13. Sremmlife 2 // Rae Sremmurd

12. Anti // Rihanna

11. Jeffery // Young Thug

10. Lemonade // Beyonce

9. We’ve Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service // A Tribe Called Quest

8. “Awaken, My Love!” // Childish Gambino

7. 4 Your Eyez Only // J. Cole

6. A Seat At the Table // Solange

5. Telefone // Noname

4. Blonde // Frank Ocean

3. Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight // Travis Scott

2. Coloring Book // Chance the Rapper

1. The Life of Pablo // Kanye West


The 11th studio album by Aretha Franklin was released on 10 March 1967.

In her label debut for Atlantic records, the 24-year-old Franklin delivered a blend of “rocking soul, dreamy pop and reflective testifying” (Robert Christgau wrote in the Village Voice a the time) that went to #2 on the Billboard charts but received bland critical reviews at the time. Rolling Stone was critical of the production and playing of seasoned studio musicians, including guitarists Chips Moman and Jimmy Johnson, keyboardist Spooner Oldham, and bassist Tommy Cogbill. In 2002, Rolling Stone placed the album at #1 on their "Women in Rock: 50 Essential Albums” list.

I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You was the 2nd of 4 albums released by Franklin in 1967.

anonymous asked:

hiiii can ypu please explain to me how you can get into a fansign?? i really wanma get into one but ihni how lol also sorry for the ridiculous question ^^

not a ridiculous question ^_^ don’t worry! ok for fansigns~

1. Bighit updates on the fancafe the store, date and time you need to buy the albums to qualify for the fansign. only if you buy from the info indicated will you be able to get into the fansign. It’s not like you can just buy the album anywhere. It has to be the one in the announcement.

2. Every album you buy is like one entry for the lottery. For example you buy 50 albums, you have 50 entries in the lottery for a chance to get picked. Oftentimes they ask you to write on a piece of paper for your name, contact number etc.

3.The store picks a number of people from these entries. It depends, sometimes it’s 100 or sometimes it’s 150 and so on.

4. Bighit would’ve also indicated when they will announce the names who got into the fansign. The host store where you buy it from often posts the names on their website. So you check on there if you got in or not.

So you see the norm is to buy lots and lots of albums to get into these fansigns. But it’s still about luck, sometimes some people buy a lot but still doesn’t get picked at all. Or some just buys a couple of albums and still gets picked ^_^ Hope this helps!

Review: Harry Styles Sounds Like the Classic Rock Bruno Mars on His Ridiculous, Ambitious Debut Album

by Katherine St. Asaph

Like many groups to come out of X Factor, One Direction were assembled from would-be solo artists; despite their harmonies, scripted lad camaraderie, and terrifying sales numbers, the band was always a holding pattern until the boys could return to their solo careers. Zayn Malik, after an acrimonious departure, took the traditional ex-boybander route: getting the best R&B beats money can buy, escaping the band’s pent-up songwriting to relive his past couple years of getting very laid, and being rewarded with radio airplay. Liam Payne, with a Migos collaborations in the works, is angling to join him. Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson have embarked upon the twin British traditions of becoming a busker with a budget and guesting on an EDM song.

And Harry Styles, as you may have heard, is attempting to be a rock star. Of course it sounds ridiculous; no matter what music they release, with what sugar content, everyone in One Direction may forever remain frozen in the public imagination as moppets with rumpled hair, bubblegum songs a large singularity of preteen fans. And yet someone’s got to manage it, or else we’d have no Beatles, no Michael, no anybody without a perfectly scuzzy, organic past. Every teen idol sounds ridiculous proclaiming their maturity, until they don’t.

Oddly enough, of the five One Directioners, Styles new solo output strays the least from the music the group actually made. So strong is the pejorative of being a boy band that the group progressed from power-pop takes on the Backstreet Boys to full-on, and often-great, Journey and The Who rips with hardly any ado; he was prepping for this moment, if not from the beginning, then at least since he took “Faithfully” to the desert in a leopard coat. But Styles, of course, would rather not be known for carrying on the One Direction sound. Where Zayn spent the months before his album telling the world he has sex, Harry’s run his own yearlong campaign insisting he has cred, culminating in enormous documentary profiles by Paul McCartney and Almost Famous’s Cameron Crowe. “I didn’t want to put out my first album and be like, ‘He’s tried to re-create the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, Nineties,” Styles told Crowe. “I wanted to do something that sounds like me.”

But in the words of one of his idols, you can’t always get what you want. Harry Styles evokes all those decades, blatantly and shamelessly. As a result, Styles has been compared to everybody from David Bowie to Robbie Williams to Mott the Hoople (in very descending order), but he’s really the next Bruno Mars, doing with the British classic-rock canon what the one-time Smeezington has done with R&B and uptown funk. The two even share a producer: Jeff Bhasker, best known for pumping arenas full of air into albums by Kanye West (808s and Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), fun. (Some Nights), and dozens of others in the past decade, including one “Uptown Funk.” But it’s Uptown Special—Mark Ronson’s 2015 solo album, which houses “Uptown Funk,” and which was completely co-produced by Bhasker—that Harry Styles most resembles, with its simultaneous tour through, scrubbing clean and blowing to oversize of the classics. The album’s practically a game of matching the rock classic to its modern interpreter. “Sweet Creature” is “Blackbird” in the style of Ed Sheeran; “Two Ghosts” is “You and I” in the style of James Taylor; lead single “Sign of the Times” is a Bowie pastiche named after a Prince album, a move so tacky in its timing that it swings all the way round to unremarkable.

Like Mars, Styles plays all his roles gamely but unthreateningly. No one escapes The X Factor with vocal rough edges remaining, and neither glam-rock excess nor sedate folk fingerpicking mask the talent-show eagerness remaining in his voice. And hand-waving tabloid freakoutery aside, spending the decade in a boy band produces less debauchery to write about than one might think. Much of Harry Styles dwells upon the same hotel rooms or the hallways leading to hotel rooms. There’s writing what you know, and then there’s writing all you know.

And for an artist who’s built his career on appealing to girls, Styles is at his most colorless when he sings about them. Gone is the campy macking of One Direction lyrics like “her daddy was a dentist, said I had a dirty mouth”; instead, Styles tries on cliches like “she’s a good girl, she feels so good,” rock sleaze diluted in the intervening decades until it barely registers. The lyric to “Sweet Creature,” in its gentle condescension, is so ’70s it may turn your speakers avocado. The second the ambient choirs of “Only Angel” give way to riff slashing and competently executed screech is the moment you know exactly where the lyric is going to go (to hell, via the sheets).

So yes, Harry Styles is frequently ridiculous. It is ridiculous to begin a song with one minute of choir woohooing and reverbed voice of God. It is ridiculous, if very Bhasker, to croon in falsetto about the bullets. It is exceedingly ridiculous to beg for morphine 50 seconds into the album, or to begin “Woman” with a call to Netflix and chill, or, on “From the Dining Table,” to intone about playing with oneself over agreeable Laurel Canyon folk. But you don’t get to be ridiculous if you aren’t trying. “Kiwi” doesn’t quite get to Suffragette City, but it definitely makes it as far as the adjoining suburbs. Properly enlivening the blues piano, pitch-shifted grunts and cuckold fantasy of “Woman” is tough, but it takes a lot of bravery to even attempt it. The gently smeared vocals of “Meet Me in the Hallway” are less Cat Stevens than Cat Power; it and the restrained verses of “Carolina” suggest Styles might have a haunted folk album in him a couple years from now, when he gets the swagger out of his system.

If he doesn’t, “Sign of the Times” redeems itself on sheer ambition, Styles delivering every line as if he’s making a crucifixion pose on a cliff projected onto a large arena that is smoldering, and Bhasker producing it to sound five times bigger still. If Harry Styles does indeed become a rock star, Harry Styles has ample retrospective evidence to see it coming. And if not, at least he couldn’t have tried harder.


Beyoncé ranks #1 on Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2016

“The queen not only made the album of the year (and make no mistake, David Bowie would have been the first to say so), she delivered a confessional, genre-devouring suite that feels larger than life yet still heartbreakingly intimate, because it doubles as her portrait of a nation in flames.”

“Ashes to ashes. Dust to sidechicks. And woe to any fool who tries to interrupt her grinding.” Rolling Stone

1) Lemonade - Beyoncé 2) Blackstar - David Bowie 3) Coloring Book - Chance The Rapper 4) Teens of Denial - Car Seat Headrest 5) Blonde - Frank Ocean 6) A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead 7) Blue & Lonesome - Rolling Stones 8) The Life Of Pablo - Kanye West 9) You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen 10) Jeffrey - Young Thug