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Harry Styles refines pop music, sets example

February 12, 2020

On December 13, 2019, Harry Styles released his second studio album, “Fine Line”. As someone who is no stranger to breaking barriers and marching to the beat of his own drum, this album is a pure reflection of who he is as a person. Although many of the songs are fun and upbeat, they also are rich in deep lyrics and raw feelings that aren’t too terribly common in pop songs anymore. Overall, “Fine Line” goes slightly out of the pop music box and has a unique vibe that takes it a giant step above the average song heard on Top 40 radio. 

What I first noticed after listening to the album was that it was quite versatile. There are songs like “She” and “Sunflower, Vol.6” that have a mellow-funk sound, and songs like “Falling” that make you want to cry about pretty much any minor inconvenience you happen to have. Then there are songs like “Watermelon Sugar” and “Treat People With Kindness” that make you want to get out of your car during rush hour traffic, get on top of your car, and dance with lots of confetti and having a grand old time. No one song has the same atmosphere as the ones before and after it, but the album manages to simply flow from one song to another, as if it had a storyline.  

What I also loved about this album was the emotional weight each song carried, and how the lyrics matched the song’s rhythm and mood. For example, I found “Cherry” to be about Styles struggling to see his ex move on and be with someone new, as he misses her, although it’s clear that his ex is happier now. This is reflected I the music with light beat and soft, low notes in the verses, seeming like he is writing an intimate, heartfelt love note telling his ex how he truly feels. With each song, it makes the lyrics come alive, as if the listener is having a first-hand experience as to what the song is about. 

Unlike many of the albums I have listened to, there are no “filler” songs; it’s clear that each song put of the album has a purpose. In addition, when the song “Fine Line” ended, it felt as if I was closing an adventurous chapter book, even though the album only had twelve songs in it. When I first decided to listen to “Fine Line”, I was skeptical that it wasn’t going to live up to the hype that it was receiving, but it did by a long shot. 

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