REVIEW: Harry Styles – Fine Line

I have no explanation as to why I offered to listen to and review this record. I know nothing of Harry Styles beyond him being in One Direction and the subject of ‘oooh isnt he fit’ conversations among non-specific middle aged office Karens and Sandras. But, my subconscious seems to be approaching life these days with the mantra ‘it won’t be worse than Elbow’. #NewYearSameBitch

Opener ‘Golden’ is a catchy, upbeat tune about something I wasnt paying attention to. But I’m not offended and I didnt switch off, which already makes my mantra more a statement of fact. Next up, Harry doesnt know if he ‘could ever go without watermelon sugar’. He just wants to taste it. I haven’t a fucking clue what he is going on about – am I old or just literate?

‘Adore You’ is about relationships I think… probably a song young girls will completely swoon over. For context, I used to swoon over Mike Patton at their age. I tried to listen to lyrics on this one and, as its the same few over and over again, can confirm it’s definitely about adoring you. It won’t win an Ivor Novello. ‘Lights Up’ – slowjamz. He’s sorry, not sure if it’s aimed at the same one he just adored or not.

‘Cherry’ continues the fruit theme and there is little doubt he’s having trouble with his missus. He is telling her he comes first, which, unless she has a child or cat or some dignity, isn’t unreasonable I suppose – or he’s just emphasising that he’s a typical bloke *eye roll*. ‘Falling’ is a stripped back, you guessed it, love song. No fruit, but coffee in this one.

Confusion over/lack of attention paid to lyrics aside, Harry Styles does have a brilliant voice. If someone was to help him write decent songs which arent about fruit, he could up his net worth from the £58 million he has now.

I skipped the next one because it sounded banjo-y and in a Jack Johnson not early Bears Den way… close escape. ‘She’ is another great pop song wasted on shit lyrics including more fucking coffee.

‘Sunflower Vol.6’ makes me happy that I didn’t hear volumes 1-5. ‘Canyon Moon’s intro sounds like Cast so that’s getting the fuck off right away.

The penultimate ‘Treat People With Kindness’ is 60s bubblegum, patronising pop at its best and probably the point in the stadium show where the ticker-tape falls and ruins the environment/mum’s pint of Prosecco.

But, hold the phone, album closer ‘Fine Line’ is, dare I say it, Bon Iver territory. Harry (I’m absolutely on first name terms now) stays in his higher vocal range and it suits him. Lyrically it’s much better than the rest of the record combined and it is a beautifully produced song. If he did more of this and less being inspired by beach-front café menus, he may be onto something outside of obsessed teenagers.

All in all, a decent pop album if you don’t listen to words.

 

Words by Lisa Whiteman.

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