Track by Track Review: Harry Styles’ ‘Fine Line’

Courtesy of Harry Styles

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Courtesy of Harry Styles

Harry Styles released Fine Line, his second solo album, on December 13. It’s been a little over two years since the debut of his very successful self-titled record, and Styles’ fans have been incredibly eager for new music.

Styles is a wonderfully unique, talented, and dedicated musician, and he threads delicate pieces of himself into the seams of the art that he produces — Fine Line is no exception. Each song takes on a life of its own — never falling victim to the monotony of a singular style — and together they flow vibrantly with a humming undercurrent of energy.

The Nerds and Beyond team has had Fine Line on repeat since it dropped, and now we’re here to tell you exactly why it was worth the wait.

“Golden”

The opening track of the album is what draws you in; “Golden” certainly does just that. The backing vocals and melodies help solidify the feel of the album as a whole. Styles brings in the foundation of laid-back indie pop feels to this romantic song about taking a risk on love. There’s a major Fleetwood Mac influence on this track. If Gypsy and The Chain had a baby – “Golden” would be the byproduct. – Haley

“Watermelon Sugar”

The fun, upbeat sounds of the song remind me of Styles’ “Kiwi” that was on his last album. The lyrics and chorus are fun, and the blend of the instruments work well here. It’s a song that you can find yourself turning up in the car on a warm summer day, windows down, and singing at the top of your lungs. – Briar

“Adore You” 

This song is the perfect storm — an achingly beautiful range of Styles’ vocals, heartfelt lyrics, and a snappy, melodic beat. It’s no wonder that “Adore You” was released as a single before the album officially dropped, because it just feels so quintessentially Harry Styles, and it’s also a fantastic example of Styles’ growth as an artist since the release of his self-titled album. – Lindsey

“Lights Up”

The first single from the album is the most modern sounding of all the songs on the record. It’s an unapologetic ode to living authentically, and that theme makes it an ideal first single that sets up the record to come. “Lights Up” is vivid in its imagery, with lyrics like “Lights up and they know who you are/Know who you are/Do you know who you are?” The interesting production choices sound like nothing else on the radio this year and sets Styles apart as an artist and songwriter. – Jules

“Cherry”

“Cherry” is one of my favorites on the album. Its bright acoustic sound contrasts with its lyrics, which mourns the loss of a relationship and the feelings of jealousy that surround watching an ex move on with someone else. It’s one of his more personal songs, with lyrics that contain many clues as to the identity of its subject when he is typically more coy. Styles’ voice is layered over itself, and the overall feel reminded me of a soothing lullaby despite its content. The song builds to a big finish – a voicemail in French from the subject of the song layered among the music. Styles has said that he asked permission from his ex girlfriend to include the loving and slightly flirty voicemail in the song, and it adds a bittersweet note to the track. – Jules

“Falling”

“Falling” left me in tears. It’s a gorgeous song and my overall favorite. From the piano to the heartbreaking and self-reflective lyrics, it’s the type of song that is so personal it almost feels like eavesdropping to listen. It also contains my favorite lyrics, with the phrases “What am I now/What if I’m someone I don’t want around” and “What if I’m someone you won’t talk about” standing out. It’s about knowing you messed up something beautiful and not knowing how to fix it, which is a universal feeling. The production is stripped down so it’s just Styles’ voice and the piano, which creates a melancholy vibe and also shows off his voice. Styles wrote the song with only one other collaborator, which makes it feel more intimate. I’ve always thought that Harry is at his best when he’s more stripped down, and this song does a lot to prove that point. – Jules

“To Be So Lonely”

“To Be So Lonely” slides effortlessly from soft and quiet acoustic verses to fully instrumental choruses in a beautiful way that truly bears a repeat listen (or two, or three). Styles has a knack for fluidly adjusting his vocals with the changing tempo of a song, and he exemplifies those talents in this song in particular. – Lindsey

“She”

One of the six minute songs on the album is a moody and sexy slow jam with a beautiful falsetto. The song has hints of Pink Floyd and Prince in the tone and delivery. The guitar solo at the end of the track that was produced by Mitch Rowland is pure magic that brings out the true rockstar nature in Styles. – Haley

“Sunflower, Vol. 6”

This song has such an interesting musical arrangement, and it’s something you instantly feel your head bobbing to. The multiple “tonight” voices Harry does makes a beautiful addition to an already strong song. The guitar breakdown in the middle adds a fun take to what is a fun song. – Briar

“Canyon Moon”

This song feels like the warm enveloping hug of memories of adolescence on a soft, lazy summer day. There’s a gentle nostalgia laced within the catchy chords and lively tempo; it’s a tune that makes you want to sit back, close your eyes, and lose yourself in the rhythm as you nod along to the beat. “Canyon Moon” is a beautiful addition to an incredible album. – Lindsey

“Treat People With Kindness”

This has been Harry’s motto since his self titled era – and the message is clear. The track is already polarizing because it’s unlike anything Styles has produced before. The female choir in the introduction has a very Queen driven influence on the song as it leads into a cheerful sing-a-long. The hand claps and tambourines add a dimension to the song that is indicative of the 70’s. dance your heart out, harries! – Haley

“Fine Line”

“Fine Line” is softer than most of the songs on the album, and is the title track. The soft acoustic guitar, coupled with heartbreaking lyrics really end the album on a high note. It brings us back to why we fell in love with Styles’ music in the first place. – Briar

Fine Line can be purchased or streamed now from your preferred music service provider. Kick back, give it a listen, and let us know what you think!

Lindsey

Written by

Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. She has spent a large portion of her life dedicated to her first love, photography. When she's not behind the camera, you can find her reading books and comics and dabbling in creative writing. Lindsey’s favourite fandoms are Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Marvel. You can find her on Twitter at @lindyysolo. Contact: directors@nerdsandbeyond.com

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