Music Review: Harry Styles releases second solo album
Former One Direction member, Harry Styles, has released his second solo album. On Friday, December 13th, the remaining nine tracks that had not been released as singles were released to complete his record, titled, Fine Line.
Styles’ first solo album, Harry Styles, was released on May 12th, 2017. It had an incredible reception, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Charts, and selling 230,000 units in its first week, all according to billboard.com.
On October 11th, Styles released his first song from the album, the fourth track, “Lights Up.” “Lights Up” opens with a guitar solo, and after the intro of the drums, Styles comes in with the vocals. The song has a very mellow tempo and melody, and when he reaches the chorus, several lines are punctuated with an emphasized “Shine!” The song is not very diverse lyrically, with basically three stanzas of lyrics that just repeat itself. “Lights Up” does have a cool techno feel to it, which is completely different from his Pop Boy Band roots. However, the self-acceptance message of the song sticks well with listeners. Styles also released a music video for this, which is arguably the best part of the song. As of publishing, the video has surpassed 45 million views on YouTube.
The next release off of the album was the second track, “Watermelon Sugar.” This song has a much more upbeat melody, but is once again, plagued with repetitive lyrics. Of the 55 lines, 23 of them are “Watermelon sugar high.” It is also similar to “Lights Up” because of Styles’ emphasis at the end of each line. As mentioned earlier with the word “Shine!” in “Lights Up,” in his second track, Styles puts a little more behind it everytime he says “high.” While this is not one of my personal favorites from his album, I do find it getting stuck in my head quite frequently.
My favorite song from the album is the sixth track, “Falling.” It’s gradual build to Styles’ belts at the chorus, and the song’s deep lyrics resonate with listeners, including myself. The song seems to be about the loss of some sort of relationship, but then spiralling into depression and self-doubt. The song reminds me of his song “Sign of the Times” off of his first album. The raw emotion behind his singing allows this song to easily be one of the best songs off the album, vocally.
The tenth track, “Canyon Moon,” has a more upbeat tempo, melody, and lyrics. The song is about reminiscing on a trip, with lyrics like: “Carry the feeling; Through Paris, all through Rome; And I’m still thinking back to; A time under the canyon moon”. This will be a great song to add to a driving playlist this summer.
Styles’ closing song on his album is like the record, entitled “Fine Line.” This six minute song has a few instrumentals with a guitar at its forefront. Similar to “Falling,” “Fine Line” also has a slight build up roughly four minutes into the song. However, the moment it leads up to is the addition of more instruments including a rise the drums and trumpets, creating a sound that is fitting to be a wrap up of not only the song, but the entire album.
The other seven tracks are “Golden,” “Adore You,” “Cherry,” “To Be So Lonely,” “She,” “Sunflower, Vol. 6,” and “Treat People With Kindness.”
In its totality, Styles’ released a quality album with a unique sound, staying true to how he has come out of his shell and embraced himself over these past few years. However, the quality of music he produces and releases is not all that important. The Harry Styles fandom will die hard for their king, and will support and love virtually any music he puts out there.