Monday 22 July 2019

Harry Styles' Sign Of The Times: Fans rave but reviewers less impressed and label song 'a little boring'

By Sherna Noah

Harry will perform the single for the first time on Saturday Night Live in the US.

While fans could not contain their excitement over Harry Styles’ first solo track, the music reviewers were more restrained.

Sign Of The Times has been trending on Twitter since it got its first airplay on Friday morning.

Harry follows in the footsteps of One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and ex-bandmate Zayn Malik, who enjoyed a number one hit with Pillowtalk, who previously released solo material.

The Telegraph’s Alice Vincent called the track “curiously melancholic” but “a little boring”.

She wrote: “Sign Of The Times is a mournful, end-of-an-era ballad that lays down a breadcrumb trail for those ardent fans desperate to know his feelings about being in One Direction.”

Roisin O’Connor wrote in the Independent: “It’s going to take something bigger than this one track to assert Styles as a serious artist.”

She said: “While there are plenty of nods to the likes of Queen, Bowie, and Bruno Mars track When I Was Your Man, he’s appropriating those artists rather than coming into his own – the feeling by the end of Sign Of The Times is that he listened to Life On Mars once too often before heading into the studio.”

The track, which could finally boot Ed Sheeran off the top of the singles charts, shares the same name as the Prince album, released in 1987.

The ballad’s lyrics, which include “Just stop your crying, it’s a sign of the times. Welcome to the final show, hope you’re wearing your best clothes,” have left people guessing.

Heartthrob Harry said he had been focusing on his music and his role in the new movie Dunkirk, rather than his personal life.

“I haven’t dated in a long time really because I went away to do the movie then did the album,” he told Radio 1′s Nick Grimshaw.

Asked what he had to offer women, the pop star, who has a love of scented candles – even taking one on tour – joked: “I have a couple of candles left still.”

In a separate interview with Capital’s Roman Kemp, Harry said One Direction could reunite.

“I don’t think any of us will ever rule out anything in the future. It was a huge part of our lives. I think it’s interesting to get to see everyone kind of explore their own tastes as well,” the singer said.

But Harry said he had a brutal response from his stepdad, telling Radio 1: “I played the album to them the first time and there’s one song that’s got a vocal effect on it.

“The whole album finished then my stepdad said ‘I’ve one question, where did you get the duck from? How did you get a duck in the studio?’ then I was like, that was me, thanks.”

Harry will perform the single for the first time on Saturday Night Live in the US.

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