The release of Harry Styles's new album couldn't be more perfectly timed. I returned home yesterday after a pretty good semester in college. It didn't end with a bang, but collapsed more slowly. I had no finals, and a good friend of mine is transferring and won't be returning. So the end to this semester was a melancholy and lazy one. On top of that, my plans for winter break are just as lofty as they were last year (if you need a refresher read this) but as usual, I've found myself struggling to get all these great big projects off the ground. I've already failed at day 1 of waking up and stretching. But hey! We've got a month to go! And we've got Harry Styles's album to listen to to inspire us!
As you should all be aware, here on the blog we love and support One Direction and the solo careers of Niall Horan and Harry Styles only. I loved Harry Styles with a love that was more than love, and I fully supported his first album. Little Egg and I ran around in a field listening to Sign of the Times when it first came out, and I bought his CD to play in my car. It has a sad feel to it, and I sometimes joke that I can't listen to the album more than twice in a row or else I'll start disassociating with reality. It makes you feel numb, it makes your thoughts blurry, it makes your vision go dark. And then when its over and you return to the surface you're left with the feeling that you've been sobbing for hours, and you're tired but refreshed in a sad sort of way. Fine Line is quite the opposite. Its cheery and full of feeling and instead of making you feel weighed down by some unseen grief, it makes you feel powerful, or at the very least it makes you feel okay when maybe things aren't going as planned.
Most of the songs are fairly upbeat, accompanied by a guitar that gives them a sort of Folksy feel. They feel like they would be played by some ruggedly handsome young lad in a pub in a town where its always misty and the streets are made from cobblestones. (And yes, the fact that the music video to Adore Me is literally exactly that vibe only cements that fact further) There are a few slower songs, like Falling and Fine Line, and those definitely don't disappoint either. They're the perfect type of sad song that's so beautifully overwhelming, like Angela by The Lumineers or Circles by Post Malone.
Fine Line as an album has a very versatile feel to it. You can put it on at a party, or have it playing in the background when you're getting ready to go out. You can listen to it in the car, the shower, in bed, by yourself, with others, with your Mom, with your dog, with strangers on the bus. The sound is great for every mood and every occasion, which is a special thing.
As for the subject matter of the album itself, it seems to be another look into Harry Styles's favorite thing to sing about: Women leaving him and him not really being able to get over it. As with Sign of the Times, Fine Line features a lot of songs about relationships that just missed the mark. Two people who just couldn't really bring it together and make it happen, and specifically a girl who moves on and is doing much better, and a boy who is sitting in an empty studio apartment smoking cigarettes and writing songs about her. This is not a bad thing, in fact this is a very good thing, because the album is great.
My favorite songs are, at the moment, Golden, Cherry and Watermelon Sugar. Adore You and Fine Line are also very good. In fact every song except To Be So Lonely is pretty solid and I will be listening to them over and over for the next three months.
This may be a bold statement, but I feel like Fine Line by Harry Styles is the album we all need right now. As we move into this new decade a lot of uncertainty lies ahead, as with every new year, new month and new day. But Harry Styles has delivered to us a slice of reassurance, a glimpse of hope, and a feeling of comfort. The album sounds old yet new, and each song feels uniquely personal and yet so distant. It has perfect duality and is the thing that the human race needed to bring balance in these trying times. As stated before, this album is perfect for every mood, so no matter what you're doing right now, you could benefit from listening to Fine Line by Harry Styles. Stream it here on Youtube, and here on spotify.
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