Review: Harry Styles’ ‘Fine Line’ explores happiness, heartbreak

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Review: Harry Styles’ ‘Fine Line’ explores happiness, heartbreak

Harry Styles' album

Harry Styles' album "Fine Line" was released Dec. 13, 2019. "I can not wait to share this album with you," Styles said in a concert at The Forum on the day of the release. "The album is yours, I am yours."

Photo credit: Harry Styles promotional material

Harry Styles' album "Fine Line" was released Dec. 13, 2019. "I can not wait to share this album with you," Styles said in a concert at The Forum on the day of the release. "The album is yours, I am yours."

Photo credit: Harry Styles promotional material

Photo credit: Harry Styles promotional material

Harry Styles' album "Fine Line" was released Dec. 13, 2019. "I can not wait to share this album with you," Styles said in a concert at The Forum on the day of the release. "The album is yours, I am yours."

By Lizette Gonzalez, Staff Reporter

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Two years after his debut album “Harry Styles” in May 2017, Harry Styles has returned with a new hit album, “Fine Line.” Styles and his management team released a video that showed unique pictures from Styles’ photoshoot to promote the album. After seeing these images, I was intrigued. Now that I’ve listened to the album’s entirety, I believe the album lived up to the hype.

The album was released on December 13, 2019, and almost instantly claimed a top spot in music charts. In only a week, the album achieved 109 million streams and sold 28,000 copies on vinyl.

“Fine Line”  is composed of 12 total tracks, three of which were released beforehand as singles. Two of the singles, “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore You,” feature fun lyrics along with a catchy and groovy melody that is almost impossible to ignore.

The fifth track, named “Cherry,” is definitely one of my favorites from the album. Styles wrote this song in the midst of his breakup with French model Camille Rowe. He provides extremely personal lyrics such as, “Don’t you call him what you used to call me” and “I confess, I can tell you are at your best.”

In the track, he reveals how he battled bitter feelings about Rowe’s new partner but realized that she is actually happier with her new partner. At the end of the song, Styles included a voicemail of Camille Rowe speaking in French, which made the track even more heartbreaking and amazing.

The third track on the album, “Lights Up,” caught my attention both sonically and lyrically. The song discusses the moment you discover your true identity and the feeling of not wanting to go back to who you used to be. The calming but still catchy tone he used throughout the entire melody mirrored the lyrics throughout the whole song. In the chorus, Styles sings, “Do you know who you are?/ Step into the light/So bright sometimes/I’m never going back.”

In the sixth track, entitled “Falling,” Styles demonstrated his powerful vocals along with very touching lyrics. I appreciated how he was not afraid to show his vulnerability through this ballad. The melody helped showcase the raw emotions he wanted to elucidate, since it was mostly his vocals and not a lot of background noises. He sang heartbreaking lyrics such as, “What if I’m someone I don’t want around” and repeatedly says, “I’m falling again.” In this chorus, Styles reflects on the idea of not knowing who he is when he hits low moments in his life.

“I had started to feel myself becoming someone I didn’t want to be, and that was really hard,” Styles said in an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “The nice thing is you get to write a song about it and be like ‘Okay, next’.”

Even though this album did a great job with smoothly incorporating both upbeat and emotional songs, the eleventh track, “Treat People with Kindness” was too overwhelming to be enjoyable. The track itself does hold a very important message of how we can make the world a good place by treating each other with kindness. The track sonically overcomes the lyrics with a heavy melody and background vocals. The background vocals confused me because I was listening to many different sounds at the same time. However, this track does not take away from the beautiful collection of music Styles created.

The ending track “Fine Line” ends the album in the most perfect way possible. Styles repeatedly sings, “We’ll be a fine line” with a harmonic, beautiful and calming melody in the background that encapsulates the meaning behind the album as a whole: the fine line between happiness and heartbreak in all of our lives. This track definitely made the album one of my favorites from the past decade.

I appreciated having an album that I can listen to in every mood since it evokes different feelings all at once. Styles released this album at the perfect time because it talked about self-identity, love, heartbreak, sadness and self-love. If you are looking for a funky album that explores countless emotions, look no further. Styles’ “Fine Line” showcases that and so much more.

  • Originality
  • Lyrics
  • Technical Quality
  • Enjoyment
  • Impact
4.1

Summary

Harry Styles’ second album, “Fine Line” features 12 tracks and showcases smoothly flowing tracks with heartbreaking and fun lyrics alongside unique melodies.