English singer-song writer, and former member of the popular band, One Direction; Harry Styles began his career back in 2010 on the stage of X Factor and only took off from there. The boy band stole the hearts of teenage girls around the world and the members have been a heartthrob ever since. When the band broke up and each of the individual members started making their own music, many of the fans were quite apprehensive but each of the boys have managed to make a name for themselves in the genre of their preference. Harry Styles adopted a soft rock, David Bowie kind of style for his eponymous debut album that gained a lot of positive reviews and just increased his already large fan-base. Two years later, on December 13, he dropped his sophomore studio album, titled Fine Line and we already can’t get enough of it!
The album was preceded by three singles: ‘Lights Up’ on October 11 that has a mellow, groovy vibe and a repetitive chorus of ‘Shine, step into the light; Shine, so bright sometimes; Shine, I’m not ever going back’ and was promoted with another line from the song, ‘Do you know who you are?’ Well, this album certainly showed us who he is! Next came ‘Watermelon Sugar’ on November 16, a classic pop song that has all the elements of being a radio hit with its catchy chorus and lyrics that grab your attention. The last single he put out, ‘Adore You’, just a week before the album dropped has been clearly written and composed using the age-old Dance Pop recipe.
The first track on the album, ‘Golden’ is a foot-tapping bop that stays safe musically but explores a mystical vibe lyrically peaking at the trance-like bridge of the track, we’re sure you won’t be able to get enough of it! The next three songs are the previously released three singles that form a seamless transition to the fifth track on the album, ‘Cherry’, that takes you back to his previous album. With a definitive ‘From the Dining Table’ sound and could, arguably, be a sequel to it, which was also, incidentally the fifth track on the album. ‘Falling’ has a haunting melody and relatable lyrics, reminding us, as he croons the chorus in a voice as smooth as honey, just why we love him so much. ‘To Be So Lonely’ is an up-beat folk rock track that we are bound to see acoustic cover artists abundantly perform.
He then moves into the classic soft rock ‘She’ that has that distinctive Bowie-Rolling Stones vibe to it, this time, however, more fine-tuned than the tracks on his previous album. The unmistakable garbled murmurs of a psychedelic-inspired track make it that much more interesting. ‘Sunflower, Vol 6’ has a feel-good groove, much like its title and ‘Canyon Moon’ doesn’t deviate much from this spirit with its ukulele-folky vibe. While the penultimate track, ‘Treat People With Kindness’ seems to be all about being a good person, it could also probably be about being high. That’s the kind of confusingly, relatable music we expect out of Harry Styles! The final track on the album, ‘Fine Line’ with its flawless falsetto and thumping marching drumbeat is certainly the perfect closing track, since it reflects the artist’s personality and his musical abilities and inclination wonderfully!
By going completely out of the current mainstream genres and taking inspiration from beyond the Billboard charts, looking instead to timeless idols, Harry Styles seems to have found his sound and how! If he continues to refine his sound and put out stellar albums at this rate, we could possibly be witnessing the birth and growth of a legend! --- Tanya