I’m Not Crying, It’s a Sign of the Times
by Kit Richards
When I first heard ‘Sign of the Times’, I knew this album was going to be something special. On the morning of 12 May, I rushed to JB Hi-Fi to buy the CD with the anxiety that it may already be sold out. I forgot that Harry Styles‘s main fan base was still in school and no one buys CDs anymore. Still, I bought the album with money from my One Direction wallet and raced home.
‘Don’t disturb me for the next 40 minutes’ I screamed to my mum as I slammed my bedroom door closed. I had been planning how I was going to listen for the first time for many weeks and didn’t want to be embarrassed by my melodrama. I put the CD in my CD player, took off my pants and bra and lay in bed, staring at the ceiling.
What burst out of the speakers made me simultaneously proud, euphoric and a little bit aroused. OK, a lot aroused. The penultimate track ‘Woman’ made my vagina tingle, which is quite an accomplishment because I’ve been naked in bed with boys who haven’t made me feel a thing. Great job Harry!
The 70s soft-rock inspiration fits Styles like a glove. After listening to the album a few times, you almost completely forget that he came from a hugely successful boy band. I can almost guarantee that many people are not going to listen because his origin story isn’t cool, but those people would certainly be missing out on some incredible music. Every song on the album is amazing—both lyrically and instrumentally. Listening to the album with no distractions allowed me to fully appreciate every harmony, chord progression and high note. The songs have a real vulnerability and sincerity to them, and it’s a privilege to have the chance to listen to them.
I couldn’t write this as a feminist fan-girl without mentioning Harry as a real life human being and excellent role model for young people everywhere. He has such respect for his female fan base, and it is so refreshing to see an artist stand up for teenage girls and not shit on them like society does so often. He’s so loyal to his fans and tries so hard to please us and this album (and all of his incredible outfits) has certainly done that.
After my initial listen, I went on to listen to it for the rest of the day … and the next day … and the next and will probably exclusively listen to it until Lorde releases her album. The real weight of my emotional reaction to it didn’t hit me until I was waiting at a train station and ‘Two Ghosts’ started to play. I almost started weeping and it took a lot of strength of character to not do that.
This album has made me reflect on who I am and who I want to be as a creative person and I can’t wait to see it performed live.
I also can’t wait to lose my virginity to it. Preferably to Harry himself, but I’ll take what I can get.