i, like most others who aren’t a part of one direction’s fanbase, have always thought that, while the members do have solid voices, the band is as musically overrated and bland as any other boy band to have ever entered the mainstream. however, within the past year, the band’s members have started dissociating themselves with the group and venturing into solo endeavors. the most relevant and appealing member, harry styles, released his debut solo single titled “sign of the times” a few days ago, and i was shocked at how well it went over. it is a heartfelt, emotional ballad about how the world is in a state of panic and uproar–the song was dropped on the night that the orange thing in office launched a fucking missile strike on syria–and how, consequently, people often repress feelings of sadness, grief, and terror from others in fear that they will be uncomfortable being anything other than content and complacent. i think harry’s vocal performance is extraordinarily powerful, and it shines over the grand classic-rock instrumentation. this track really hooked me, and i think that, along with pillowtalk, it’s the best work from the band’s members. shit deadass almost made me cry first listen. supposedly, it’s the first single from his upcoming debut album, and i’m looking forward to it.