Now why were we invited to Harry’s House if all we’re going to do is third wheel? Gone are the days of coy (read: cunnilingusfruit references and despair over the end of his relationship with Camille Rowe. Harry Styles’s third studio album (out nowfor those who observe) plays a game of kiss and tell, where he outdoes “Watermelon Sugar” lyrics with cringeworthy horniness. And the current object of his affections? Olivia Wilde, with whom he struck up a workplace affair while on the set of her erotic thriller Don’t Worry Darling. While Harry remains mum on the subject of his relationships, this album does not. The musician turned actor meansders from ’80s synth pop to ’70s-inflected funk in ways that are fun to sing along and drive to even if the only lyrics you’re interested in are the ones that seem vaguely related references to Wilde. Here’s everything we can glean about the duo’s love affair by close-reading a few of the album’s horniest tracks.
Harry Styles isn’t subtle. In “Cinema,” he sings, “If you’re getting yourself wet for me / I guess you’re all mine.” Someone call the horny police, if not for the meaning of the lyric (I’m not prudish — good for Olivia!) but for the ew delivery.
“Cinema,” a slick synth-pop tune, appears to refer to Wilde and her current vocation: the cinema. Back in 2020, Styles and Wilde met while shooting Don’t Worry Darling, a sexy psychological thriller helmed by Wilde. The duo grew close on set, with reports that they would spend long hours together in their trailers doing things that are between them and God. After their friendship officially transitioned into a romantic relationship, Wilde praised Styles on Instagram for “playing supporting roles in female-led films.” Although Wilde set feminism back a few decades by praising a man for doing the absolute bare minimum, it really showed just how much of a Styles fan she is.
And Styles feels the same about her. The song begins with the lyrics “It’s you / And I’m not getting over it / Darling, is it cool? / I’m stubborn when it comes to this?” Read: He’s possessive about Wilde and doesn’t plan on getting over her anytime soon. Then the lyrics get a little more clunky. He sings, “I just think you’re cool / I dig your cinema.”
The song is all slinky guitar riffs and hooded come-hither eyes complete with a corny bridge in which Harry explains how he and Wilde complete each other: “I bring the pop to the cinema / You pop when we get intimate.” (Pop … popcorn … cinema). When interviewed by Howard Stern about the kinda dirty lyrics, Styles said he was just writing about what he knows. “I think it’s important to write from what you’re going through at the time and trying to turn life into what you make. I guess it’s like the most you can kind of capture a moment is kind of being true to that.”
“For a long time, it felt like the only thing that was mine was my sex life. I felt so ashamed about it, ashamed at the idea of people even knowing that I was having sex, let alone who with,” told Harry Better Homes & Gardens. “But I think I got to a place where I was like, why do I feel ashamed? I’m a 26-year-old man who’s single; it’s like, yes, I have sex.”
Styles opening up about his sex life means scooby-do-bop scatting over some electro-funk beats. On “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” he sings in the first verse, “Green eyes, fried rice, I could cook an egg on you.” According to Google, Wilde has heterochromia iridis, meaning that it is difficult to pinpoint her blue-green eye color … so let’s say this is another Wilde reference for fun. Harry continues to flirt: “You’re sweet ice cream, but you use a flake or two / Blue bubblegum twisting ’round your tongue.”
The chorus is more scattering. After listening to the song with my sister, she said something that gagged me a bit, which I don’t think is appropriate to repeat here, but for the sake of service journalism: “Is he scatting over that pussy?” Valid question. In between ba-ba-bas, Harry yelps, “You know I love you, babe.” (An unrelated aside: If the album is to be likened to Prince, as some critics are doing, he would be on his knees begging to die for younot being all nonchalant about love.)
The bridge gets a little more introspective. Harry asks, “If the stars were edible, and our hearts were never full / Could we live with just a taste?” The question feels rhetorical. We know there are challenges to Styles and Wilde’s relationship. Between custody battles playing out at CinemaCon over Wilde’s children and the reality of their busy schedules, I can imagine their relationship can be fraught at times with only a taste of satisfaction.
“Cocaine, side boob, choke her with a sea view.” Who were we talking about again? Listening…