Styles’ “Fine Line”: A Bop or a Flop?
By Payje Davis
A heartstring-pulling album, an emotional roller coaster feeling of meeting someone new, falling in love, breaking up, and feeling sad, radiates from former One Direction member, Harry Styles’ second studio album, “Fine Line.”
The album was released on December 13, 2019, produced by Colombia and Erskine records. The 12-song album generated five singles. “Lights Up,” the debut single, which won Best Song at the Global Awards, “Adore You,” which hit number six on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Falling,” which peaked at 62 on the charts. The other two singles included “Watermelon Sugar” and “Golden,” which received over 50 million views on the music video, after being released for not even a month. The album was so well-liked that it won Best Pop/Rock Album at the AMA awards.
The album contains primarily elements of the pop rock music genre. All of these songs Styles wrote himself and they hit very close to home, as he told during his interview with the Rolling Stones, that the album contained his “toughest, most soulful songs he’s written yet.”
At the end of the sixth track on the album “Cherry,” Styles includes a voicemail from his French ex-girlfriend Camille Rowe who allowed him to use the audio clip. According to Insider, a fan translated the French voicemail back to English and it said, “Hello! Are you asleep? Oh, I’m sorry … Well, no … Nope, it’s not important … Well then … We went to the beach and now we — Perfect! Harry.”
He told Insider “I wanted [‘Cherry’] to reflect how I felt then. I was feeling not-great. It’s all about being not-great. Because you get petty when things don’t go the way you want it. There are parts that are so pathetic.”
“Fine Line” marked a momentous occasion in Harry Styles’s solo career by giving him his first number one song to hit number one on the U.S. charts as a solo artist. His infamous song “Watermelon Sugar,” was originally released as a promotional single on November 16, 2019. It was then released as the album’s fourth single, with a music video on the album on May 18, 2020, which skyrocketed on the charts. It peaked within the top ten in more than 20 countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States, where it became Styles’ first number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was even nominated for Song of the Summer by MTV. It is a song perfect for the summer, and the melody gives off summer vibes that a majority people would enjoy.
Critics have given very positive reviews on the songs and the album as a whole. For myself, the album is immaculate and has really meaningful songs that speak to the listener. The hidden innuendos in some of the songs that you might not always pick up on the first listen are very interesting. The album left a big impression on me because this album turned me to listen to Styles’ other music. It’s a meaningful album overall, and I recommend it to anyone who likes pop-rock style music.