It will be unfair to demand so much from Harry Styles. After all, transition is never that easy for any One Direction member as each struggles into issues of identity and authenticity without raising expectations. But to his credit, Styles has managed strongly enough to come out swinging with a strong debut with “Sign of the Times”, a Bowie-inspired lengthy and weepily evocative ballad that sets the tone for his self-titled full length due for release on May 12.
But Styles can also sound old-school and his cavorting with vintage music does not fall short on his latest single, “Sweet Creature” providing the hookiest and most accessible acoustic pop ditty chillout Styles has co-written with indie-folk collaborator Thomas Hull.
“Sweet Creature” is sedated, laidback confessional immaculately mooning over “Sweet creature, sweet creature/When I run out of rope you bring me home” or trying to be vaguely nostalgic in ‘We’re still young/I always think about you and how we don’t speak enough” delivered in fittingly warm pipes and supple acoustic proceedings.
While “Sweet Creature” has been largely criticized for its similarity with Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird”, Styles has remained unfazed considering that the familiar template of a well-worn route could be his most interesting and powerful course to establish a niche of his own.