Harry Styles’ “Fine Line” album speaks to self-discovery

Kayla Ivan, Herald Contributor

As the new decade comes into full swing, many artists are producing an interesting variety of music that is sure to impact the ‘20s. One of these artists is Harry Styles.

After taking over the world in the popular boy band One Direction, Styles entered the music scene as a solo artist in 2017. Releasing his first self-titled studio album that year, he brought to life an array of musical influences, including the rock sound of the ‘70s and folk music. After touring the world and taking the time to create his sophomore album, Styles released “Fine Line” on Dec. 13, 2019.  

“Fine Line” is a creative, identity-driven collection of 12 songs that emulate Styles finding out who he is in today’s day and age.

Apple Music’s Zane Lowe was able to dive deeper into the thematic elements of the album, interviewing Styles on where the sound and energy was rooted. 

“Coming into this record, I wanted to feel less guarded and more joyful, free and honest,” Styles said.

The album begins with the light and bright “Golden,” which is a perfect tune for driving on the highway or coastline. “Watermelon Sugar” comes next. This is one of the infectious singles that harbors the ‘70s groove, which Styles fits comfortably into.

“Adore You,” another danceable hit, speaks of caring for someone so strongly even though that person doesn’t want the singer to do so. Styles chants, “I’d walk through fire for you, just let me adore you.” The genius music video features Styles in a short film in the fictional island Eroda, where he cares for a fish in an unhappy land. “Lights Up,” the first single released by Styles from “Fine Line,” highlights the struggle of being in the spotlight while growing up and trying to figure out who you are in the process.

“Cherry” is an emotional song with an ironically happy sound, recognizing Styles’ split with Camille Rowe. The next song, “Falling,” is a beautiful ballad that acknowledges the feeling of sinking into the lowest points in our lives. Styles sings, “What am I now? What am I now? What if I’m someone I don’t want around? I’m falling again, I’m falling again, I’m falling.” If you are going through a tough breakup or just need to cry, this is the song to listen to.

“Treat People With Kindness,” embodies Styles’ catchphrase, with a choir behind his signature vocals that rings with gospel and retro influences. The final track, “Fine Line,” closes the album. This song speaks about a girl who he simultaneously loves and hates. With a hopeful repetition of the mantra “We’ll be a fine line. We’ll be alright,” Styles’ positivity is seen in the midst of his trials and defines who he is.

Whether you were a One Direction super fan or have no idea who Harry Styles is, “Fine Line” is sure to satisfy different musical tastes and palettes. Styles’ variety of songs allows audiences to appreciate his wide range of abilities. 

Be warned, listening to one song might leave you hooked forever.