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Released: 2022

Alright, let’s shimmy into the world of “As It Was” by pop juggernaut Harry Styles. In this magnetic tune, Styles grapples with profound change and nostalgia, bridging the past with a present that doesn’t quite feel the same anymore. It’s a narrative of introspection, self-realization, and connection profoundly stitched into the weft of Harry’s life.

Starting things off, “Holding me back / Gravity’s holding me back” signals at a struggle against certain constraints, an underlining sense of inertia. Styles yearns for a connection, expressed through the metaphor of wanting someone else to “hold out the palm of their hand”. This could point to a desire for intimacy, understanding, or partnership that he feels is being blocked.

The lines “Seems you cannot be replaced / And I’m the one who will stay” lay bare Styles’ loyal heart and the void left by an irreplaceable figure in his life; a confession of his inability to move forward without them. This could suggest a significant relationship having left a deep imprint on Styles, altering the landscape of his world.

As we move to the chorus, “In this world / It’s just us / You know it’s not the same as it was”, Styles repeats ‘as it was’ multiple times, emphasizing his hang-ups with change and a longing for familiarity. It’s a melancholy echo of the tension between the realities of change and the comforting grip of nostalgia.

The lines “Answer the phone / Harry, you’re no good alone”, carry a darker tone. The latter part could be a self-reflection or external voice saying that he doesn’t function well in solitude. This is followed by the query “What kind of pills are you on?” which may hint at a struggle with mental health and dependency, showing Styles isn’t afraid to tackle difficult themes.

Finally, the lyrics “Go home, get ahead, light-speed internet / I don’t want to talk about the way that it was” suggest an attempt to evade the past, to escape nostalgic reflections, and move forward. Yet, in contrasting, the line “Leave America, two kids follow her / I don’t want to talk about who’s doing it first” reveals a deep-seated reluctance to let go of past milestones and relationships.

“As It Was” is Styles’ haunting anthem of grappling with change, of nostalgia for what’s lost, and a revealing introspective journey into his personal life. It’s a testament to his growth as an artist and his willingness to bare his soul, further proving why he’s truly a pop titan.

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