Why Harry Styles’ ‘Matilda’ Is His Heartbreaking Masterpiece

Harry Styles Know how to make you feel at home. Harry’s Househis third and best album, Gives a welcome pop vibe. Harry’s House It’s a place where he invites you in, sits you in the kitchen, makes you pancakes and hash browns, opens a bottle of wine, brings you bubblegum and food, and takes you into the garden to hear your whole life story.

It’s an idyllic place to spend an hour. But at the heart of the album is “Matilda,” a truly heartbreaking song, an acoustic guitar ballad about a person learning how to build a new life after a painful past. It’s a new peak for Harry – it’s one of the most emotionally powerful songs he’s ever done. He created Matilda with Amy Allen and his trusted collaborators Tyler Johnson and Kid Harpoon. It’s halfway through the album surrounded by a gorgeous pop sheen — a song that takes a deep breath. He listened to Matilda tell the painful story, and replied: “You don’t have to feel bad about leaving and growing up. “

last fall, in his Harrivan Dressing up for a rave, he told the crowd, “I feel great–do Do you feel great? OK! Now we’re going to sing a sad song. “It could be a mission statement highOn this album, he mixes great dance-pop dreams with quiet ballads like “Little Freak” and “Boyfriends,” dancing between the feeling of making love and sadness. But like all of his records, over time it pays off to listen carefully. “Matilda” goes deeper with your life. I’ve been a Styles fan for a minute or two, but it’s a song that exceeds expectations.

Harry’s House Explore the concept of home and how home is structured as you move forward, constructed from your emotions and memories. It’s a theme he sings all the time, from “Sweet Creature” (“You Take Me Home”) to “Canyon Moon” (“I’m Going Home”) to “As It Was.”But after the pandemic thin line Be the soundtrack and healing sanctuary, it’s about finding and creating new homes, taking your loved ones with you every time you leave, no matter where you are.

in luxury high In box edition, he even has an inscription by the great transcendentalist poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. From his 1836 essay “Nature”: Beyond its house is a world; beyond its world there is a paradise. Know then that the world is for you…so build your own world. “

“Matilda” is the story of a man trying to build his own world. It begins with childhood memories of a child riding a bike, trying to pretend her pain was “no big deal”. But as things unfolded, Matilda told her story of family trauma, possibly abuse or abandonment. It’s a song about listening to other people’s pain, respecting it, and grieving for your inability to protect them from pain. “Home” here is a nightmare trap, but the singer believes Matilda will move on and create her own home. As he puts it, “You can let it go/You can throw a party full of people you know/Instead of inviting your family.”

in his Zanelow being interviewed This week, Harry discreetly discussed who inspired the song. “They revealed to me something very like, ‘Oh, this is not normal,'” he said. “In this particular situation, it’s easy to mistake it for ‘regular behavior.'” This person is just beginning to recognize their trauma. Harry told Lowe what he wanted to say: “I want to support you in some way. But that’s not necessarily my place because it’s not my experience. Sometimes it’s just about listening. I hope that’s what it does. I Hopefully it just says, ‘I’m listening to you.'”

The line that will never destroy me is when Harry sings, “You’re just in time/make tea and toast.” On one level, it sounds like she’s popping into his kitchen for a visit. But given that she’s just coming to terms with her past, rather than grieving how long it took, or the years she’s lost, “You Came in Time” is such a moving affirmation. It’s never too late for her to find her home. She is on time. It’s tricky because Harry just wants to be a respectful witness to Matilda’s pain, not let his own shock or sad reaction get in the way of him. He didn’t want to impose on her narrative. He just wanted to hear. It’s a delicate balance of respect and empathy, which is why songs like this are so hard to get right.

when you go back somewhere else high After “Matilda,” it all went deeper, even dance-pop about love, sex, wine, and food. This album has to set some sort of record for breakfast content. (Any artist can plant Easter eggs on their albums, but Harry gave the real ones.) If thin line is “soup, sex and sun salute”, Harry’s House It’s sushi, sidearms and spilled beer.

He’s always been fascinated by the gaps in the way we communicate – this is the guy who started his solo career singing “We Can’t Talk Enough / We Should Open Up.” It’s in “Satellite,” in the Bowie-esque distance between lover and loved one: “I can see you’re lonely out there / Don’t you know I’m here?” Or a veritable ballad” “Little Freak,” he muttered, “you never saw my birthmark.” “Little Freak” is such a variation that it throws you into “Matilda” unsuspecting, the only way to experience the song way. (Don’t think for a moment that this guy doesn’t get obsessed with the geeky details that set the pace for his albums.)

The album title might be reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, But as he told Lowe, it was inspired by 1970s Japanese psychedelic rocker Haruomi Hosono, from avant-garde legend Yellow Magic Orchestra.his 1973 solo debut Hosono House, a style favorite, was recorded in his bedroom. But the music soared in the rock and roll he adored. There’s a guest guitar song from the Grateful Dead band members: “Cinema” features John Mayer, whose day job is to play a 10-minute Jerry Garcia solo with Dead and Co. The Paul McCartney spirit is everywhere, from spread wings at the speed of sound How From “Grape Juice” March to “Keep Driving” evokes Paul and Linda’s road trip in “The Two of Us”

But everyone on this album is looking for a home.the brilliance Harry’s House This is what it has to say Your Emotional abode, not his. It’s about “self-reliance,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it, but it’s also a challenge to define yourself by what you love, free from social media and other distractions. (Preach, Ralph Waldo: “The idea of ​​bats and cows doesn’t matter.”) That’s why Matilda ends up being the star of the album. She’s building her own world, even if she’s doing it herself. This is Harry Styles’ most profound, soulful, and ambitious art. That’s what makes “Matilda” victorious.

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