Album Review: Harry Styles – Fine Line

Album: Fine Line
Artist: Harry Styles

Lots of great tracks from everyone’s favorite member of 1D (well, almost everyone’s favorite…).  Individually, I dig most of these songs, but as a single collection, I don’t think they all play well together.  Respect for coloring outside the lines, but sound-wise it’s all over the place.  The first couple tracks are modern easy-listening, then we throw in a lil post-disco on the next couple before getting a bit folksy.  All this and we’re not even halfway through the album.  Falling is my favorite track and feels the most mainstream, not to say mainstream is either good or bad, just this one isn’t exploring a new sound, it’s just fantastic on its own.  

1. Golden: This song feels like a modern take on a song you’d hear at the dentist’s office, but only it’s good…
2. Watermelon Sugar: Another retro feel song that would be right at home on a Justin Timberlake album, though someone might want to tell Harry about the difference between melons and berries…
3. Adore You: Slightly less retro, but just slightly,  I really dig this one, and I support the switch from melon in the previous track to citrus in this one… I also really like the idea of a “strawberry lipstick state of mind”, it feels summery…
4. Lights Up: Don’t mind me, just going to get my post-disco on for a few… 
5. Cherry: I really dig this song because give me sadness or give me death… this also feels like it should be the first release on Harry’s new indie-folk band side project… also, the fruit theme continues… also, are they speaking French at the end?
6. Falling: Favorite record on the album and it’s probably not close, perfectly paced melancholy for the win, more please!
7. To Be So Lonely: Beach Boys Pet Sounds meets Imagine Dragons.
8. She: Six minutes in which our boy Harry tries Pink Floyd on for size… 
9. Sunflower, Vol. 6: I just really dig this song, more than a little… I wonder what volumes 1-5 were like… 
10. Canyon Moon: We’re back in Southern California (Laurel Canyon) circa late 60s in all the best possible ways… 
11. Treat People With Kindness: It worked so well on the last song let’s just stay out west for a happy lil bop… 
12. Fine Line: Paging Band of Horses and Sigur Ros… Harry meet Jónsi, I think you’ll get along well… 

I really do like a lot of these songs, but if you think of an album as a collection of work this would be like a fashion designer having overalls, beachwear and a prom dress all in one look, Nina Garcia would NOT be happy.  Definitely add these songs to your playlists (especially “Falling”), but maybe back to back all in one go isn’t the best route unless you’re ready for a sonic rollercoaster ride, and props if you are!
Ry

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