Harry Styles opens the door to his third album with “As It Was”


Promotional material courtesy of Columbia Records and Syco.

Cover photo for Styles’ upcoming album, “Harry’s House,” and for his newly released song “As It Was.”

Harry Styles’ released his latest single, titled “As It Was”, in the U.S. March 31, 2022. The song is a venture from the classic and soft rock musical direction that Styles has taken in the past, paying off with a vibrant and enthralling song. “As It Was” is the first single off of Styles’ next album, set to release May 20. 

After more than two years since his last album, Fine Line, which has accumulated 382 million streams on Spotify, Styles finally announced his much-anticipated third album – titled Harry’s House, on March 23.  

Following the release of Fine Line, Styles began his world tour for the album, Love On Tour, which was postponed until late 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Fans were not only thrilled to see Styles finally perform many of the Fine Line songs in person, but were also looking forward to what would come next.

The release of his new single on Thursday ushered in the next Harry era that fans have long-awaited, although many are still reveling in the Fine Line era. The excitement and commitment from fans shot the single up to number one on iTunes within three hours of the song and music video’s release. 

“As It Was”, from beginning to end, is ethereal. Opening with Harry’s goddaughter, Ruby Winston, saying “Come on Harry we want to say goodnight to you!”, the song evokes emotion through a colorful melody and truthful lyrics. 

The beat is high energy and reminiscent of 80’s indie rock. However, when paying closer attention, the listener can see that this is one of the most deeply emotional and complex songs Harry has ever written. With lyrics like, “Ringing the bell and nobody’s coming to help,” and “Answer the phone, ‘Harry you’re no good alone… what kind of pills are you on?’,” Styles stays true to his tendency to write creative, meaningful, and raw lyrics.

The song broke records on multiple streaming platforms, becoming “Spotify’s most-streamed song in a single day in 2022 so far, and the most streamed song in the US in a single day in Spotify history,” according to the official Spotify Twitter account. “As It Was” also broke the streaming record for most first day streams for a song released in 2022 on Apple Music, and debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 list within two weeks of its release. 

Compared to Styles’ last two albums, Harry Styles and Fine Line – which were more parallel to rock music – “As It Was” sets the stage for Harry’s House to be a lyrically rich and musically different album, and one that many (myself included) are anxiously awaiting. 

Overall, the eclectic sound and Harry’s voice and lyrics make for an incredible song. Although “As It Was” is not like anything that Harry Styles has written in the past, the song and music video alike set the tone for Harry’s House, which will surely be a groundbreaking album. “As It Was” has earned five out of five feathers.