After the breakup of One Direction, Harry Styles quickly began writing and recording music as a solo artist. In May of 2017 Styles released his debut self-titled album along with a six minute ballad as his first single, Sign of the Times. In One Direction, the world saw Harry Styles as pop star heartthrob, but after hearing songs like “Kiwi,” “Carolina” and “Only Angel,” he instantly became the newest rock star. His new album, Fine Line, was released this past December, and it exceeded all expectations. It seems like he has truly found his signature sound. Taking inspiration from legends like Stevie Nicks and David Bowie, Styles has used his solo career to show fans the type of music he wants to produce: soft rock mixed with a dash of pop and folk.
This new album was a chance for Styles to be vulnerable, and he opens up about the pains of heartbreak. “Cherry,” “Falling” and “Fine Line” are the tracks where Styles shares his sorrows. They discuss the reality of falling out of love and portray how scary it can be to be alone. One of my favorite lyrics on the entire album is in “Falling,” when Styles sings, “and I get the feeling that you’ll never need me again.” These words are powerful, as everyone in the end fears abandonment and desperately wants to feel needed.
Though Fine Line has been called a breakup album, there are numerous songs that spark feelings of joy, love and happiness. The album opens with “Golden,” a song that makes you want to drive down the Californian coast, windows down. He also released two singles, “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore You,” which are definitely the more pop-like songs on the album. They are feel-good songs that you can’t help but dance to. Also, after putting his signature slogan “treat people with kindness” all over his merch, Styles finally put it into a song. “Treat People With Kindness” is a one-of-a-kind song that not only puts a smile on your face, but reflects the kind of person Styles is. Lastly, my favorite song is easily “She.” This track carries notes of 70s rock with a little bit of edge, and contains an exceptional instrumental section that reminds me of Welsh and Fonder’s guitar solo at the end of “Hotel California.”
For those who still see Styles as the “cute one” in One Direction, Fine Line depicts Styles in a brand new light. He shows us his true self by experimenting with new styles of music and bringing back classic sounds. He has written and produced the entire album along with a team he has a close bond with, making him stand out from current artists in the music industry. Fine Line has already been nominated for two Brit awards, and the album hit number one on the charts instantly. Styles is a breath of fresh air to the industry, becoming the new rock star we all needed.