Harry's House review: The fans will love it, but the music feels a bit like bric-a-brac

rating showbiz 3

Harry Styles

Harry’s house out now

Evaluation: rating showbiz 3

Pet Shop Boys

National Forest, Brussels On tour until June 26

Evaluation: rating showbiz 5

For pop stars, like the royal family, getting dressed is part of the job. Right now, no one is doing it better than Harry Styles. He’ll wear anything as long as it’s extravagant, from puffy Oxford bags to a 14th century style corset.

Styles is an equal opportunity workhorse. You can find her 25 best outfits chosen by Esquire magazine, or her 20 best outfits by Cosmopolitan. To browse them is to admire his fearless sense of fun. You’re just wondering one thing – is he all pants and no mouth?

His third album gives a mixed response.

The habit of dressing up persists: Styles comes to his own party as The Weeknd, the conquering 1980s revivalist, and as several 1980s originals – Morten Harket of a-ha, Stevie Wonder in his phase of synth, Prince and Level 42 (both at the same time). It also dives into the 1960s to be Simon & Garfunkel. All of this leaves the music feeling a bit like bric-a-brac.

Commercially, it makes perfect sense. The a-ha homage As It Was spent six weeks at No. 1, and there may be more in the bouncy Late Night Talking, the dashing Cinema and the gooey Love Of My Life.

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Styles’ lyrics, in a radical departure from the current norm, aren’t just about him. Instead, they talk about “you”, the listener. He keeps his voice soft, whispering sweet things. Fans will love it, and everyone will find it tolerable as it will stick with them for the next six months.

Pet Shop Boys, too, do their share of disguise. For the Dreamworld Tour, they emerge in a headgear that appears to be a set of small silver rugby goal posts. And they play the sounds of the 1980s – the difference being that they helped define them.

Always distinctive in the studio, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have also made the scene their own. The design, by Tom Scutt, is dazzling, the lights and video blending into one, creating a measured euphoria.

These deans of dance-pop do not dance themselves. While Lowe plays musical statues, Tennant only walks around, but he can rule an arena with a wave of his arms.

Three session musicians (including Clare Uchima, who toured with Styles) add new depth to old Go West favorites at West End Girls.

Dreamworld ends better than a dream – more real, more consistent, more memorable.

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