As I’ve always done with beautiful people, I’ve long only noticed Harry Styles from afar. I never fully allow myself to love things that I feel are too bright and too clean for me, and if One Direction was the pack of popular boys in school, then Harry had prettiest face of them all. He’s the handsome boy you’ve never talked to because you run in different crowds, but who everyone says is very nice, even though he’s never seemed to experience that awkward phase that you thought was a necessary evil, a journey you must undergo to become a better adult. You don’t pine for him; he will always be too far from where you are for you to reach him. You don’t really have anything in common with him, anyway.
Listening to this album has made me think of Harry Styles’s schoolboy persona a bit differently—but not too differently. It’s like looking up to find him right beside you at the bus stop. He’s started to dress a little differently this year—a little shaggier, maybe—and as you observe this, he turns and asks if you know the Beatles. You respond, “Uh, yeah?” He explains that he’s recently gotten really into them. You miraculously get to talking while you wait for the bus, only to find that this beautiful, distant boy from school sometimes says stupid things like, “You’re cool, no one else knows who the Beatles are,” or is awkward and nervous sometimes, like you. You realize he’s been raised by the same media and culture as you, so he’s been deifying a beautiful girl from school the same way you’ve deified him, but none of that lessens his charm. You simply begin to project a more down-to-earth and relatable ideal of a boy onto him, and perhaps he is beginning to form his idea of you in his mind, as well.
- Mitski, “Mitski Reviews Harry Styles’ New Album“