FIVE minutes and 40 seconds.
That’s how long it takes former ONE DIRECTION heart-throb HARRY STYLES to establish himself as the world’s most exciting new music star.
His debut single Sign of the Times is a soaring, epic rock ballad that sounds like a cross between DAVID BOWIE and LANA DEL REY (as weird as that sounds).
It goes against the current trend of non-distinguishable dance tracks — the length alone would make it commercial suicide for any other artist.
Its main instrument is the piano, which Harry has been studiously playing in private for years.
For large portions of the track he sings in falsetto, showing off a quality voice with much more range than we ever saw during his five years in 1D. This song has the potential to become a timeless classic.
Harry co-wrote it with the brilliant, highly regarded Grammy-winning producer JEFF BHASKER, best known for his work with KANYE WEST and JAY Z.
Whether anyone in the industry will take young Harry seriously as the “next Bowie” remains to be seen, but the 23-year-old is certainly putting his best foot forward.
The lyrics are “deeply personal”, sources close to Harry tell me, but they’re also open to any form of interpretation.
Sign of the Times begins with him singing over the piano: “Just stop your crying, it’s a sign of the times. Welcome to the final show, hope you’re wearing your best clothes.”
Could it be about a break-up? Possibly. Or maybe about death? More likely.
The refrain throughout the song is his need to “gotta get away from here”. From what exactly isn’t clear.
“We could meet again somewhere, somewhere far away from here,” he sings, poignantly.
Many people think Harry has disappeared up his own backside with an arty promotional campaign designed to distance himself as far as possible from the 1D heritage that has given him this opportunity.
That said, I give him huge credit for releasing the most daring and well-delivered debut single of the decade.
And you won’t get it out of your head once you’ve heard it . . . - THE SUN