Alright, folks. I am pretty darn open-minded (if I do say so myself), but I never thought I would find myself saying (typing) the following:

Harry Styles‘ self-titled solo debut is my album of Summer 2017.

I will admit that One Direction wasn’t a half bad boy group, but I never would have put them anywhere near the top of any list. But, it seems that they are finding much more success (at least in playtime by me) since each went solo.

Styles solidifies his singledom by self-titling his debut album. And, it works, but if it were me, I would have named it something much more pretentious. Maybe: “Rockstar,” or “THE Album of Summer 2017”.

There are no outright pop songs. Instead, Styles has chosen 10 tracks with melodies and instrumentation – even recording style – that calls back to Brit rockers of the1960s (think: Beatles, Rolling Stones). I know that may seem like high praise, but give it a listen. You will hear it. On top of that, his voice – solo – can be compared to Adam Lambert if he were to tone it down and take out the theatrics. Or maybe even Bruno Mars…if he were to tone it down and take out the theatrics. His voice is actually quite similar to fellow boy-bander, Zac Hanson.

If you haven’t checked out Hanson in awhile, give a listen to “Broken Angel” or “Misery” off their 2004 album, “Underneath”…the resemblance is striking.

My point with Harry’s voice is: It is very smooth, remarkable, and easy to listen to.

It’s not just the sound that has me turning this sucker up on an afternoon walk, evening drive, or even while I make breakfast in the morning, but lyrics that are a mix of fun, soulful, and a bit angsty. No, he hasn’t left the teenage angst behind, but do any of us, really? He croons about love, lust, the past, and growth, never letting us forget that we are all constantly in a state of change, regardless of if we are in our early 20s or our late 50s.

My favorite, “Two Ghosts”, is all about a love gone cold. How everything is the same as it always has been, but the passion and feelings that once were there have left the building. It’s something in between a break up and a love song, and it is heart-shattering.

Harry isn’t just covering light and airy teeny-bopper stuff anymore, folks.

**Originally on Impose.

Erin P.S. Zimmerman