Laurel-Canyon

It’s much more powerful when not taken simply as what it is.
—  A perfect Harry quote for how to listen to this album. This fool is deep as that sink hole in Laurel Canyon a couple months ago. Aka, very deep. That shit was scary. I digress. Listen to your friend Harry Styles, he’s a cool guy.
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Harry Styles’ solo album might be the most anticipated debut this side of the millennium. Following years as the bullseye in the global behemoth that was One Direction, the singer is taking center stage with a self-titled effort that’s a classic cocktail of psychedelia, Britpop, and balladry. If it was a color, it would be the baby blue of Jimi Hendrix’s Fender Stratocaster or the soft pink of Mick Jagger’s suit when he performed on “Top Of The Pops” in 1971. It’s rock and it’s roll, but it’s also soft and sensitive. Produced by Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Fun.) it’s a record that could force the position of mainstream radio by ushering in a reprise of proper music — ensembles, verse-chorus-verse, rich instrumentation, or, basically, Adele’s bag of tricks.

Despite the red herring of lead single ‘Sign Of The Times’ (it clocks in at just under six minutes in length), the album is a short shrift 40 minutes and contains ten songs that are largely about women. Unlike Robbie Williams and Justin Timberlake before him, there’s a deepened millennial sensibility to being a leading man. Harry is a sensitive soul; A post-Drake phenomenon; A serious pop performer with enviable vocal chops and a gifted ability to convey a song’s emotional heft. He oozes class, ease and a sense of import without thrusting forth from the hips, or wreaking of a self-satisfied sense of boyband emancipation. Both respectful of his past and nervous for his future, “Harry Styles,” the album, looks both ways. - Variety

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Billboard: Niall Horan Braces for Stardom Outside One Direction, With Advice From Justin Bieber & The Eagles

When Niall Horan decided to move from London to Los Angeles in early 2016, it’s no surprise that he chose a house in Laurel Canyon, the epicenter of ’60s folk-rock culture. Horan was the one ­toting a guitar in One Direction, the British boy-band juggernaut that was just then going on a hiatus, and he’s got the soul of a singer-songwriter: He’s charismatic, witty and sensitive, but also easygoing and no-nonsense. Viewed alongside his bandmates – born rock star Harry Styles, “sensible one” Liam Payne, “funny one” Louis Tomlinson, moody R&B prince Zayn Malik – Horan, 23, is sort of like the middle brother: the most ­approachably handsome, the second-most popular across social media (29 million Twitter followers; 19 million on Instagram) and the most likely to lust after a gig at the historic Los Angeles rock club The Troubadour. “Playing for, like, 500 people. What more do you want?” says Horan. “I’ve had some good moments with screaming ­teenagers, but I like when the room is completely dead. It’s a ­different kind of respect. People are actually listening.”

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