Album Review: Fine Line by Harry Styles

On his illustrious sophomore album, Fine Line, Harry Styles claims the tracklist is about “having sex and feeling sad”. Though many say the album is a tribute to his ex-love interest Camille Rowe, Fine Line features a diverse mix of playful pop anthems as well as reflective breakup odes. While Fine Line may not be my favorite album, I do believe that the tracklist showcases Styles’ sheer talent for songwriting, singing and guitar playing—a mix which catapults his persona from a ex-dreamy boy band singer to an even dreamier rockstar. 

  1. 1. Golden; Rating: 8/10

    Styles’ Fine Line opens with the playful pop anthem Golden. Featuring lively backing vocals and an upbeat melody, the first track on the album is one that feels like eternal sunshine in song form. Although the tune may sound wildly cheerful upon first listen, the lyrics say otherwise. After a few listens, it’s clear that Styles has mastered the archetype of a melancholy sentiment veiled behind a joyful melody. It’s an interesting combination, but the former One Direction heartthrob pulls it off well. This song is a great one to perk up your Monday morning blues, yet it contains a less positive message which could be pondered upon a deeper listen. Though it’s one of my favorites, I feel that the album could have opened with more of a bang. For Styles’ sophomore soundtrack, I expected the first song to be just a little more exciting. Nevertheless, Golden is a classic staple on Fine Line

  2. 2. Watermelon Sugar; Rating 9.5/10

    Watermelon Sugar is the quintessential summer song. Reminiscent of wistful warm evenings, Styles artfully crafts poetic like verses in combination with melodic high notes. The rhythm is catchy without being repetitive. I love the joyous beat and sing-out-loud lyrics which accompany the melody. Watermelon Sugar is just a great feel good song that is sure to lift your spirits.

  3. 3. Adore You; Rating: 10/10

    Adore You is without a doubt my favorite song on the album. This song just makes me want to dance around immediately and brings me major happy vibes. With a catchy tune and upbeat pop rhythm, Adore You is the showstopper single which truly represents Styles’ happy-go-lucky brand. I especially love the backing guitar accompanied with Styles’ melodic vocals. The combination of both makes the song feel electrifying in the way that a new crush would make you feel. 

  4. 4. Lights Up; Rating: 9/10

    As the first single on the album, Lights Up did not disappoint. The song is an anthem for self love and self discovery, a theme Styles permeates throughout the album. The beat feels dream-like and bright, perfect for an evening chill session or an afternoon jam while walking to class. After listening to this song on repeat hundreds of times, I think I know who I am… A Harry Styles stan forever. 

  5. 5. Cherry; Rating: 6/10

    Cherry is different from anything Styles has ever done before, yet he masters the soft indie sound flawlessly. Though the song is filled with emotional heartbreak from a previous love interest, the melody is utterly peaceful and calming. The soft acoustic guitar which plays throughout the song is one that exudes total serenity, despite the lyrics that encompass it. Typical of Styles’ quirky nature, the end of the song features a voicemail from his ex-girlfriend Camille Rowe. Though she speaks in playful French with spontaneous giggles throughout her message, one can only empathize for the pain Styles must have felt to include the snippet on this breakup tune. Many fans suspect that the title, Cherry, is a play on words for the French word “chère,” meaning “dear.” Either way, Cherry is not only a great breakup song, but it is also a relaxing tune to unwind with. 

  6. 6. Falling; Rating: 9/10

    Falling may just be one of the most heartbreaking songs I’ve ever listened to. You definitely need to be in a sad mood to fully appreciate this song, but it is a shining star on Fine Line nevertheless. It contains a slow piano tune while Styles recalls the last moments of a relationship that went south. Also, Styles’ voice is absolutely gorgeous on this song. With a wide range of notes, it is clear that Styles’ talent is tried and true. If you’re looking for a song to cry to look no further. 

  7. 7. To Be So Lonely; Rating: 5/10

    Styles tries a different approach with To Be So Lonely, and I’m not sure if it works here. The song’s hook repeats the phrase, “Don’t call me baby again,” which gets a little repetitive but is also catchy in a strange way. The song isn’t bad, but it doesn’t stand out as much as some others do on Fine Line. While the other breakup songs on the album capture Styles’ despondency after his split, To Be So Lonely reflects more of a self-deprecating yet angry perspective.

  8. 8. She; Rating: 4/10

    For some reason, I just can’t get into this song The track is slow and smooth, but it isn’t very catchy to me. Styles’ sexy drawl does make this song a little more enjoyable though. Still, I’m not really sure what the lyrics mean here and I don’t feel that She really fits with the rest of the album. 

  9. 9. Sunflower, Vol. 6; Rating: 8/10

    Styles plays on an interesting sound yet again on Sunflower Vol. 6. I really like this one—it’s fun, quirky and different in a way that only one green-eyed 25 year old could pull off. Sunflower Vol. 6 is an upbeat ode to a love interest with an electrifying backbeat. When listening to this song, I can’t help but feel butterflies and excitedness. The end of the song features some whistling and weird sounds in typical Styles fashion which are a little hard to get used to at first, but now I feel that they enhance the cute, playful vibe of the track. 

  10. 10. Canyon Moon; Rating: 7/10

    Canyon Moon seems to be Styles’ take on a sort of country-folk song. The track  sounds like one that would be sung around a campfire or on a summer morning drive. All in all, it’s a cheery, simple song that works well on the album. The acoustic guitar throughout it is joyous and catchy. In a way, Canyon Moon feels a little like Styles’ version of One Direction’s Wolves on their most recent (arguably the best) album, Made in the A.M

  11. 11. Treat People with Kindness; Rating: 5/10

    Inspired by Styles’ most famous motto, Treat People with Kindness just doesn’t hit the mark for me. I love the message of it, yet I feel that this song doesn’t do his catchphrase justice. It has a weird gospel choir backtrack that’s just a little too strange for my taste. Other than that, though, I like that the song captures Styles’ carefree essence. It isn’t terrible, just not what I was expecting. 

  12. 12. Fine Line; Rating: 2/10

    Unfortunately, Fine Line disappointed me the most. The song is six minutes long, which is just too much for me. It features a lot of instrumental background that makes the song feel endless and very skippable. I will say that Styles’ voice sounds amazing on the track with hard-to-reach high notes and melodic hymns. Still, for the title track, I think this song could have been a lot better. 

All in all, I have mixed feelings for Fine Line. While Styles will always hold a special place in my heart, I think that the album could’ve been better but nevertheless has some great songs. If you’re going through a breakup, you should definitely give it a listen.