Music Review: Harry Styles’ new single “As It Was”


Screenshoot from “As It Was” YouTube music video with Harry Styles and Mathilde Lin.

Kiara Zabala, Staff Writer

There are a select few things that I fear in this world. One of them is missing the moment when Harry Styles drops any new music. Today, that fear became my reality. 

As a rather dedicated fan of Styles, like most of the world, I was counting down the minutes until As It Was would be released to the general public. Although I was a half hour late to the initial release, I still was able to enjoy the first moment, the first song to come from his upcoming album.  

Let me be the first of many to tell you, Harry Styles certainly did not disappoint in the slightest. Fans were expecting a rock album from Styles third solo installment to his solo career, but this song has us completely shocked. Of course, in the best way possible.  

Instead, we were thrown off guard by a sad, yet upbeat song. It almost gives me, personally, late eighties and early nineties vibes from the musical side of it alone. The upbeat background music reminds me of a toned-down disco party. 

The song is a contradiction in itself. Although the musical sense of it makes you want to smile. When you hear the instrumental part of it alone, you cannot help but want to tap your feet and nod your head along. However, upon listening to the actual lyrics, we can discover that this is not intended to be a happy song. 

So many theories are going through my head. Styles is no stranger to sad songs, but this must be his saddest to date. With lyrics in the first verse such as, “When everything gets in the way, Seems you cannot be replaced,” it seems Styles is missing someone. As if he wants to replace this person, but soon he comes to the realization that no one will ever come close to them. 

Also, the painful chorus that reads as follows, “In this world, it’s just us. You know it’s not the same as it was.” Styles sees everything within this person. He sees that the world revolves around them, but the two of them no longer hold the spark they once did.  

When it came to the second verse, “Harry, you’re no good alone,” I was tearing up in shock. Clearly, this is Styles being extremely vulnerable with his fans. Whomever it is that Styles is missing, he clearly misses them in a way that is quite painful. Perhaps that is why this song was released first. The person this song is about could be who he views as his home, his safe space. Being ripped from them is such a painful thing that Styles is left with only writing songs about them to keep what they had still alive in some sort of form.

Screenshot from "As it Was" music video  on Youtube.
Screenshot from “As it Was” music video on Youtube.

Pair these painful lyrics with his music video where he is chasing his female love interest. We watch as they keep getting ripped apart in the video, yet still he reaches for her even if he falls. This easily is a very painful song for Styles to have shared, but I am so thankful that he did. When you have an artist such as Styles that is willing to share so much about himself with his fanbase, it means so much. To us fans, it makes us see how he cares enough to show the pain he would usually not share. 

Harry’s House, I am certainly ready to hear the rest of you. Will I cry? If Styles has more songs as vulnerable as this one on the album, then I will be sobbing in the corner as I listen to every song. Pain and money are nothing. Harry Styles is forever. 

Harry, I am ready to come home.