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Harry Styles performing at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Photo by Francis Specker / CBS

Why Harry Styles is a better album than Fine Line

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Through the One Direction days and on to his solo career, I have been a massive Harry Styles fan. There has yet to be a year where Harry isn’t found in the top five artists on my Spotify Wrapped each year, and I am counting down the days until I see him later this month while on tour. However, there is one opinion of mine that I have yet to agree on with any of my other Harry-loving friends: Harry Styles is his best album, not Fine Line. Before you come after me, let me explain! I absolutely love Fine Line, but there are certain elements to his self-titled work that I have a soft spot for.

The most significant reasoning that I have for my preference of Harry Styles is the overall feel of the album. As this was the first album that came after the “hiatus” of One Direction, this seemed to be his first taste of experimentation in the music industry. Clearly coming in with a mix of pop and hints of rock, Harry Styles gives such a variety of emotions that Fine Line doesn’t entirely achieve. Of course songs off of Fine Line such as “Fine Line” and “Cherry” can bring you into your feels, but “From the Dining Table” and “Two Ghosts” really pull you in with a mild acoustic sound that has a more personal quality. On the other hand, while looking for some upbeat tunes, you can find the classic pop sound on Fine Line with “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore You,” but having an incredibly energetic rock sound like that found in “Carolina” and “Kiwi” is far more my speed.

Another thing that I prefer about Harry Styles over Fine Line is the overall layout of the track list. The self-titled album feels more balanced on a listen through with no shuffling or skips in comparison to Fine Line. Harry Styles starts and ends with slower paced songs, yet there is a steady build and drop of energies between tracks that works to keep you on your toes and feeling certain emotions for longer periods of time. Within Fine Line, however, the energy of the tracks seem to jump around more, leaving you little time to process the previous song before heading into the next when giving the album a complete listen start-to-finish. The beginning of Fine Line includes some of the most known and upbeat tracks on the album, and then dips into slower and sadder tracks before bouncing up and down between fast and slow tracks to finish off the album.

My last big point is that I feel like Harry Styles has more of a story to it than Fine Line. The album itself doesn’t follow any certain concept, but each of the songs have far more of a storytelling aspect to them in comparison to his second album. Fine Line has a few songs with good storylines, such as “Cherry,” but the difference is that EVERY song on HS1 follows a certain emotion or individual, whether it comes from fact or fiction. Flirty storylines such as that found in “Carolina” or more serious and heartfelt tales like that of “Sign of the Times” create a real vision of the album within your head that I have never fully been able to find through many of the songs on Fine Line. What do you think?

Hi, I'm Lilly and I am a Freshman at the University of Kansas! I love to read, write, shop, and watch movies and TV shows and I am so excited to be able to share these interests with you! I hope to have you stick around:)
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