Harry Styles defines sound with ‘Fine Line’

Second studio album explores vulnerability

Fair use from: Columbia Records

Fair use from: Columbia Records

Maddie Schutte

Harry Styles’ new album “Fine Line” will break your heart and put it back together with its straightforward lyrics and retro pop-rock sound. Styles released the 12 track album Dec. 13 and stunned the world with an amazing display of talent. 

“Golden” starts off the album and draws listeners in with a powerful yet calming verse. In an interview with Zane Lowe Prior to the album’s release, Styles described the song as the feeling of driving down the coast of Malibu and the song perfectly captures that feeling. Styles has an incredible ability to translate a feeling directly into his music.

After a series of upbeat and lighthearted singles following “Golden,” Styles drags listeners into his world with the deep emotions of “Cherry” and “Falling.” The overwhelming honesty of his past relationship in “Cherry,” paired with its dreamy guitar instrumentals make this track my favorite. The chorus is filled with delicate harmonies and heart-wrenching lyrics that bring you close to tears. Styles found beauty within his sadness when making this track. 

“Falling” is a breathtaking piano ballad that takes listeners on Styles’ journey of self-loathing after his breakup. Though his album consists of many powerful songs, this track captures you in ways no other song can. I haven’t personally experienced a terrible break up with a French model like Styles did, but this track makes me understand exactly what he was feeling, which is what makes this track and album so impressive.

“She” is a soft rock piece that has instrumentals that could have been on his debut album, “Harry Styles,” but has the lyrical vulnerability of this new album. The nearly minute long guitar solo at the end of this track is a standout moment on the album. The eerie and symbolic lyrics contrast the strong guitar and prominent soul in this song. 

The album takes a happy turn with “Sunflower, Vol. 6” and “Canyon Moon.” These two tracks go hand in hand, with a tropical, funky R&B sound. These soft and fun songs will dry your tears from the earlier songs. “Treat People With Kindness” has a similar vibe, adding a 70s sound into the mix. 

The album ends with “Fine Line,” a six minute long track that gradually builds in its intensity. This track ends the album on a perfect note, combining the melancholy feelings of parts of the album with the groove and light of the rest. 

“Fine Line” is a remarkable album that takes you through Styles’ navigation through a breakup and journey to self discovery. This incredibly cohesive album deserves every award for beauty, honesty and combination of styles.