I never thought I’d be reviewing a song by one of the guys from One Direction, but the gorgeous new song “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles simply blew me away the moment I first heard it. It’s incredibly moving and powerfully anthemic, aiming straight for the heartstrings, and proves once and for all that Harry’s a really talented singer. Now 23, he’s grown as an artist – both vocally and stylistically – and exhibits great on-stage charisma.
The song starts off with a somber piano movement then, with tremendous emotion in his voice, Harry begins to sing “Just stop you’re crying, it’s a sign of the times. Welcome to the final show. Hope you’re wearing your best clothes.” He may be admonishing us to not cry, but boy it’s hard not to! His voice rises to a tender falsetto before the song bursts open with lush, powerful orchestration. The combination of piano, strong percussion and electric guitar, accompanied by Harry’s heartfelt soaring vocals, propel the song to great heights, raising goosebumps along the way.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Harry explained the meaning behind the song: “‘Sign of the Times’ is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there’s a complication. The mother is told, ‘The child is fine, but you’re not going to make it.’ The mother has five minutes to tell the child, ‘Go forth and conquer.‘”
Watch this awesome performance of the song on the Graham Norton Show