By Alex Green, PA Acting Deputy Entertainment Editor
The latest album from Harry Styles has been praised as a step forward for the former One Direction star, as he embraces a more mature sound and intimate lyrics.
In the lead up to release date, the 28-year-old has reflected on finding fame at a young age and his recent experience of undergoing therapy, both topics that have fed into the record.
The PA news agency’s Imy Brighty-Potts gave the album four stars, writing: “Maybe not as groundbreaking as the epic melancholia of 2019’s Fine Line, Harry’s House is a more mature and restrained venture for Styles.”
Writing for The Independent, critic Mark Beaumont praised the album for existing “in the chaotic and self-destructive hinterland between affairs, where grief and regret battle the flush of new romance, nights blur and addictions take root”.
He gave the album four stars.
Rhian Daly of the NME also offered the record four stars and described it as “undoubtedly Styles’ best record yet”.
She added: “A few bleurgh-inducing moments aside, the musician’s third album feels like a magical thing, a record that you want to take up residence in until you know its every nook and cranny in minute detail.”
Alexis Petridis, The Guardian’s head rock and pop critic, said the album “is extremely well turned out, ticks a lot of the right boxes and has abundant charm, which makes it a perfect reflection of the pop star who made it”.
He awarded the album four stars.
Another four star rating came from The Telegraph, whose James Hall called it a “party album with a heart, and precisely the kind of record that the world needs right now”.
The Times’ chief rock and pop critic Will Hodgkinson described the record as “the latest step in the frankly remarkable reinvention of Styles, always the most interesting member of One Direction” and also gave it four stars.
Olivia Horn of Pitchfork gave the album 7.2 out of 10 and noted: “Substance sometimes lacks, but style always abounds.”
Meanwhile, Variety’s Jem Aswad said of the record: “Harry’s House is a bit more intimate and less stadium-sized than its predecessor.
“Lyrically, it’s heavier and more serious in places — not surprising after everything that’s happened in the two and a half years.”