Zayn Malik dropped a surprisingly decent solo record last year so the time has finally come for everyone's favourite wannabe rockstar to follow in his ex-bandmates footsteps. Or maybe not.
The vocals on Sign of the Times are probably its worst aspect. Harry's performance is dull, lifeless and above all shows no character you couldn't tell this voice apart from 9/10 X factor contestants and I'm talking about the ones who don't make it to the live shows.
Where as Zayn's solo project was born out of much loved R&B artists like The Weeknd, Frank Ocean and Rihanna, this single has taken its influence from the bottom of the barrel of popular music. The song sounds like Hozier trying to cover Angels by Robbie Williams. This song seems to think it has an alternative Edge and this makes it all the more dire.
I have no doubt that the masses will adore the true "authenticity" of this track - "it's the real Harry!" they'll say - and be in awe of the guitar and piano driven instrumentals. In fact, a browse of the internet reveals that the makers of "Sign of the Times reaction videos" are baffled by them, as soon as they've got their heads around the idea of a song being 6 minutes long. 6 minutes long? 6 minutes is a long time to reiterate the same generic pop drivel over and over again. Somehow it's already drawn comparisons to the Late David Bowie - but is it alike David Bowie in any distinguishable way? Is it piss!
This is an awful piece of music and it pains me to say that it's not even the worst thing I've heard this year. But it might be the most inoffensive.
(Words: Aimee Armstrong)