I will never ever get bored of looking at Harry Styles’s back. Harry Styles’s lovely, wet, lightly freckled back. It is the best back in pop, undoubtedly. I’d go as far as to say the best back in music. In the world, even. Harry Styles just has a really lovely back, doesn’t he? Doesn’t he though?
Unfortunately, his latest track, ‘Sweet Creature’, is a bit of a dud. Saccharine and schmaltzy, this is Styles at his most mundane, playing it safe with a bit of light acoustic pop, a Sheeran-esque lullaby that neither goes anywhere nor does anything interesting. In this sense, it’s reminiscent of the last track he debuted from his upcoming album, ‘Ever Since New York‘, a song that felt equally half-baked, like there was something good at its centre but that no one had bothered to flesh it out. As a result, you end up with two tracks that are entirely forgettable. And Styles is worth more than that. Just look at his pop-star-perfect back.
Where ‘Sweet Creature’ aims for folksy charm, it achieves stale blandness. There is nothing really to grapple with here, nothing that subverts expectations or offers anything more than pallid background music. The highlight is Styles’s strained wailing towards the track’s end, as this sounds at least authentic, as though he is really feeling something rather than reciting tepid lyrics.
While ‘Sweet Creature’ is likely intended as a love song to some make-believe woman, it becomes far more enjoyable if you imagine it as being addressed to a beloved dog. Lines like “We’re running through the garden, where nothing bothered us,” conjures wonderful images of a jumpered Styles bounding through the grass with a lolloping, slobbering Labrador, while lyrics such as “I always think about you and how we don’t speak enough,” creates a scene in which a perplexed Styles tries, and fails, to teach his dog to speak English, staring wistfully at it, still wearing that lovely jumper, wondering why Scooby Doo could talk but his rubbish dog can’t.
Sadly, and somewhat annoyingly, ‘Sweet Creature’ falls drastically short of what we know Styles is capable of. But still, what a lovely back.