Harry Styles’ New Release ‘Fine Line’ Wows Listeners

Harry+Styles+poses+in+the+cpver+of+his+new+album%2C+%27Fine+Line%27%2C+featuring+unique+music.+Photo+Courtesy+of+Harry+Styles.

Photo By Harry Styles

Harry Styles poses in the cpver of his new album, 'Fine Line', featuring unique music. Photo Courtesy of Harry Styles.

By Anouka Saha, Morale Officer

After a two-year wait, Harry Styles released his much anticipated new album, Fine Line, on Dec. 13. Once again, Styles is climbing his way up the charts with unique music which appeals to everyone.

I went into Styles’ new album not knowing what to expect. I had listened to his One Direction era music, with albums such as Made in the A.M. and his self-titled album Harry Styles once he began his career as a solo artist. However, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Fine Line, as I saw an interview with him stating that he took a lot more risks in his new album.

From the very first song, I could tell something was different. Golden was a lot more upbeat and techno than his previous songs and was captivating from the very first note. The song itself perfectly conveys the lyrics and even the title of the song, somehow managing to sound golden and describe the happiness and love Styles also infused into his lyrics. As I was listening I found myself moving to the beat and absorbing the catchy tune. His voice in the track reminds me of Troye Sivan’s and made me feel excited to discover what else he experimented with in the album.

Following the song was Watermelon Sugar, a more intimate feeling track released before the album itself. The way Styles made the acoustics sound made it feel as though he was singing directly into your ear. It continues the upbeat feel of the previous tune and filled me with joy just listening to it. The repetitiveness makes Watermelon Sugar a perfect earworm ready to be played anywhere.

Right afterward, Styles transitions into a more laid back song. I appreciated the shift since too much upbeat, dance-like pop would have been overwhelming. Titled Adore You, the song captures the dreamy, fun feeling of the previous two tracks without overloading a listener’s senses. Adore You also has its merits in being a very easy listen, not requiring much attention to try and absorb what’s happening in it. The wailing guitar solo right in the midst of it stayed subtle while adding another layer to the song and adding to the listening experience.

My favorite song on the album would have to be Lights Up. It immediately starts off with an acoustic guitar strumming, which brings me back to his songs in Harry Styles, and adds on beautifully written lyrics and stunning vocals. I love the questioning tone in it, which adds a mysterious feel to the track. 

Interspersed throughout the album however, were quirky songs which weren’t my favorite but still added to the experience of listening. Initially, hearing Cherry was an incredibly soothing experience, and I enjoyed the ballad-like feel of it. I easily got lost in the music and had to listen to it once again for the sake of experiencing it once again. However, I did freak out a little bit at the end since the music disappeared and Styles was basically just talking. The transition was a little abrupt, but that just adds to the charm of the song. Falling was also a little disappointing, as it sounded very similar to a lot of pop ballads about lost love. Despite its shortcomings, the song did a wonderful job of lingering on the way Styles could hit some of the notes and at the end of a listen, I did feel some sense of peace because of it. 

Canyon Moon and Treat People With Kindness added a different texture to the album with their genre crossing moods. While Treat People With Kindness sounded like it was straight out of a musical, Canyon Moon had a twangy, country feel. Styles shows his mastery of many different styles of music by successfully making Canyon Moon nice to listen to, though it is a hated genre of music. The whistling in it was especially whimsical and that delighted me. If there was any song that reminded me of the cover picture of this album, Canyon Moon would have to be it. It has the fun flavor Styles tries to project through the bright colors and silly pose. In addition to the brilliance of Canyon Moon, Treat People With Kindness delivered a simple but crucial message- be kind to others. The motto is easy to forget, and the song was a nice reminder of the things one should do.

The album’s final song, Fine Line, blew me away. I was wrapped up in listening to it, and just relishing the emotion in Styles’ voice. While all his songs capture his personality and emotion, I feel as though this track was the most raw. It reminded me of a desert sky filled with stars and conveyed to me a beautiful feeling of solitude and peacefulness. The repetition of the lyrics ‘we’ll be a fine line’ to a crescendo, complete with an orchestra, filled my heart. The bombastic, engaging climax gave way to haunting final notes combined with soft chords to conclude the piece, marking a beautiful end to an incredible album.

This album was an incredible reminder of Styles’ impactful voice and versatility with music. His rise to stardom is clearly well-merited and Fine Line has the potential to impact listeners for years. Its flaws are few and I can safely say every song is liked by me to some extent. This album should be listened to on repeat and while it is rare for me to like new, experimental music, I was happy to be proved wrong.