By Mariah Doss, E23 Reporter

This past week, Styles released the first single off his self-titled, debut album, “Sign of the Times”.

Since his hiatus with boy band One Direction, Styles’ first single was much anticipated by fans all over the world. This was reflected in “Sign of the Times” dominating the charts and rising to the number one spot on the Billboard Top 100 in an unprecedented 19 minutes. That being said, I personally do not get the hype.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Harry Styles as much as the next person, and I am even a self-proclaimed One Direction super fan, but “Sign of the Times” is just not cutting it for me.

In the almost six-minute song, Style showcases his signature falsetto and powerhouse vocals in a beautiful chorus. There is no denying that Styles has a one of a kind voice that makes us fall in love after the first listen.

However, the song itself is very lethargic. It is a complete 180 from One Direction’s usual upbeat, pop rock sound. “Sign of the Times” gives me 80s rock vibes and sounds eerily similar to a David Bowie song.

No matter how great Styles sounds, as a listener, I lose interest in the song after about the three-minute mark. The song is too long and keeps the same tempo throughout its entirety. It becomes rather repetitive, and not in a fun catchy way.

I believe Styles owes this song’s success to his name rather than the track itself. If a different artist wrote this song, I highly doubt we’d hear it on the radio, nor would it crack the top 50 on the Billboard charts.

Going into the SNL performance, I had made up my mind on “Sign of the Time”. However, let me be the first to say that Styles brought a whole lot of life to a lifeless song, making for one hell of a first solo performance.

Donning an all-plaid assemble, Styles both looked and sounded beautiful. Showing off his vocal range and passionate facial expressions, Styles captivated viewers all over the country. The performance was so raw. At no point did I want to take my eyes off my television.

At some points in the song, Styles suffered a few voice cracks, but I think that showed how much emotion he was putting into his performance.

Styles made me second guess my stance on his debut single. I undoubtedly prefer this live performance to the studio version, which I don’t think I have ever said about a song.

After seeing this performance, I couldn’t wait to see what he had in store for his next song.

For his second performance, Styles debuted a brand new song called “Ever Since New York”, which seemed fitting given the occasion.

When the song started, I immediately noticed something I have never seen in a performance from Styles; he was playing an instrument. Styles showed off his versatility by playing the guitar, which is something he never did while in One Direction.

At first, Styles seemed a little nervous to start his new song and that was shown in his tentative mannerisms.

As the song went on, Styles seemed to become more relaxed and began to show his dominating vocal abilities.

Unlike “Sign of the Times”, “Ever Since New York” is catchy with its foot-tapping melody and rhythmic guitar. At 2 minutes and 48 seconds, the song actually ends too soon for my taste.

It continues to grow on me each time I hear it. If the album is anything like “Ever Since New York”, Styles may have a chart topping album on his hands.

Overall, Harry Styles proved on SNL that he has shed his boy band persona and has grown into his own person.

Styles has found a sound that is unique and entirely his own. With two amazing performances and three special guest appearances in skits throughout the night, it’s safe to say Styles stole the show.

I know Saturday night was only a glimpse of what Styles can do, and I cannot wait to see what other surprises he has in store.

Be on the lookout for Styles’ debut album, “Harry Styles” on May 17, 2017.

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