‘Fine Line’ released at the end of a decade, jumpstarts eclectic era of pop music

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Courtesy of NME

Rachel Basela, Life & Arts Editor

Harry Styles is well-past his One Direction phase, and while he acknowledges the impact the experience made on his musicality, his style has mutated. This is especially evident in his second solo album, titled “Fine Line,” which was released Dec. 13.

From upbeat songs like “Watermelon Sugar” and “Golden” to deeply musical pieces like “Fine Line,” and even including left-fielded songs like “Sunflower, Vol. 6,” Styles incorporated various levels of lyricality and styles of production into his album.

To highlight his title track specifically, Styles mellowed the ending of the track list with the song “Fine Line.” He used this platform to discuss the line that is drawn between love and hate, and he related it back to his most recent relationship that left him feeling low.

“One thing I hadn’t experienced before was how I felt during the making of this record,” Styles said in an interview with Zane Lowe. “The times when I felt good and happy were the happiest I’ve ever felt in my life, and the times when I felt sad were the lowest I’ve ever felt in my life.”

Aside from its emotional aspect, the album included an element of eclecticity that only drug experimentation can bring to a musician.

According to Antoinette Bueno’s interview with Styles: “We’d do mushrooms, lie down on the grass, and listen to Paul McCartney’s ‘Ram’ in the sunshine,” he said about his creative process at Shangri-La studios in Malibu, California. “We’d just turn the speakers into the yard.”

Styes transformed the way he sang about love in “Fine Line.” By listening to “Cherry” or “Falling,” the listener can deeply understand where his mind and his heart were while writing the lyrics.

He talks about how his past lover might not ever need him again, and he brings up the thought that someone else could be intimate with the one he loves.

As opposed to Styles’ previous solo album and his boy band days, he gets personal with his audience. He opened up about sex and jealousy, as well as the deep emotional pain that can be felt from lost love. 

However, Styles didn’t completely center his work around the rough side of love. He produced upbeat tunes that explored the connection between him and his previous girlfriend when they were at their happiest.

With another album under his belt, Styles has the potential to be remembered as one of the greatest emerging artists of the new decade. With an upcoming tour in the works, the emerging solo artist will take major strides in making it in the international music industry. Styles is transforming the common pop genre and welcoming conversations about gender fluidity, healthy love and mindful exploration, and this can be found in his new work, “Fine Line.”