Stunning Ballads in Harry Styles’ “Fine Line”

The+album+cover+of+Harry+Styles%27+%22Fine+Line%22+features+the+singer+through+a+fisheye+lens.+

Times Colonist

The album cover of Harry Styles' "Fine Line" features the singer through a fisheye lens.

Alana McCaffrey, Staff

 
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Release Date: December 13, 2019 

(*released as singles prior to release date)

Tracklist: 

“Golden”

“Watermelon Sugar”*

“Adore You”*

“Lights Up”*

“Cherry”

“Falling”

“To Be So Lonely”

“She”

“Sunflower, Vol. 6”

“Canyon Moon”

“Treat People With Kindness”

“Fine Line”

Ever since his solo career began in 2015, Harry Styles has honed his candid, personal style, which continues to captivate his fans five years later. Styles’ second solo album, titled Fine Line, follows this trend. The beautiful exploration of the themes of love, philosophy, and self-acceptance comes together in a stunning project that touches each of his fans in a unique way. From slow and emotion-filled ballads, upbeat pop songs, to rock-n-roll-esque tracks, Styles perfectly captures the coming of age story that every young adult faces. He steps outside of every comfort zone set by pop artists today, including his own, as the album features songs all written by Styles himself, with raw and real lyrics and emotions. 

On Fine Line, each track encapsulates a different genre. The most notable that stray from his typical style are “She”, a rock ballad heavily reliant on the heavy beats, and “Treat People With Kindness”, a gospel-sounding and soul-filled track. The different eras that Styles pulls from appear throughout the record, with artists like Fleetwood Mac and other alternative sounds of the ’70s and ’80s shining through. This is mostly due to his use of psychedelic drugs, which were an important part of the 70’s culture, throughout the recording of his second album. It was the first time that Styles experimented with it, as he detailed to Apple Music. He believes that the drugs helped him create the relaxed feeling of the album, and relieved the pressure left by years of being a “perfect” child in a boyband popularized for young teenagers. 

It is impossible to find a song that is better than the last, or that sticks out more than the others, as they each strike a separate chord that makes listeners want to play it on repeat. But, the songs that have a deeper meaning than surface-level pop tend to attract fans and listeners alike. Songs like “Cherry”, which features a voicemail of Styles’ ex-girlfriend at the closing of the track, is on repeat: an ode to a past love, begging her not to call her new lover the same names and reminiscing on how she impacted him. All of these things make the song unique and appealing. Others, like “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore You”, bring a new sound to the album that uplifts and balances out the raw emotions brought out by tracks like “Falling”. Every track on the record showcases Styles’ unique artistry and passion for his music and for the love that he describes. Overall, his second solo album was by far a success, and undoubtedly the best that he has released in his 10 years of professionally releasing music.

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