“I’m just an arrogant son of a b**** who can’t admit when he’s sorry,” he sings. Even if you don’t care who he’s on about, he sells the story. There’s a good degree of crossover with the team that assisted Styles on his previous album, with Tyler Johnson producing or co-writing on nearly all the tracks, although Jeff Bhusker’s role as collaborator is diminished in the credits and Kid Harpoon’s is elevated. " Fine Line " markiert ein bemerkenswertes zweites Album, das frisch und organisch klingt, bei dem sich der Künstler nicht scheut, auch fernab vom Mainstream abzuliefern. He was also demonstrating the invincible oblivion of … Last modified on Sun 15 Dec 2019 16.57 EST. You don’t need to be ambivalent about “Fine Line,” though. It continues on the pre-chorus and is capped off by the repetitive but vibe-filled chorus, which highlights the titular lyric: “Watermelon sugar high.”. Musing about “floating up and dreaming / Dropping into the deep end” over a feverish groove of congas, handclaps and Mellotron, Styles calls upon a gospel chorus to take him even higher: “Maaaaybe, we can find a place to feeeel good,” they thunder in full Seventies musical-theatre mode. The toothless gospel of Treat People With Kindness, the album’s only explicit message, is unnecessary – his fairness was already evident. Several of the songs have McCartney-esque interludes, like slightly druggier versions of album tracks he might have released in his fruitful ‘70s solo heyday. This exemplifies the old-school/retro sound, hearkening back to soul and 70s pop/rock. On a very good sophomore album, Styles raises heavy philosophical questions, like: Is it "Dad rock" if it's mostly young women streaming it? And when the recriminations start, they’re barbed but – unlike the two-dimensional bad girls of his debut – limned with admiration and Styles’s own complicity. ✓ Gems: “Golden,” “Watermelon Sugar,” “Lights Up,” “She,” “Sunflower” & “Treat People with Kindness”, After awe-inspiring with his 2017 debut single, "Spaceman," Canadian singer-songwriter and producer Francois Klark returns with alluring follow-up single, "Run.". Songwriters: Styles, Johnson, Witte, Bhasker, Thomas Hull, Mitch Rowland, Amy Allen, Isley Juber. Harry Styles © Copyright 2020 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. First and foremost, he sings superbly; the huskiness and assertiveness of his vocal performance is awesome. Is there any doubt whose star seems to be the brightest from One Direction? The chorus, the centerpiece of this mid-tempo ballad, sums it up best: “And I’m just an arrogant son of a bitch / Who can’t admit when he’s sorry.” Where “Cherry” and “Falling” are ballads where Harry Styles doesn’t hide hold back his feelings, “To Be So Lonely” is more lighthearted. ✓ “She” runs an ambitious length, extending north of six minutes. Interestingly, he manages to connect both previous songs to “To Be So Lonely,” with lines like “Don’t blame me for falling” (verse one) as well as “Don’t call me ‘baby’ again, you got your reasons” (chorus). No crashingly obvious Sinatra covers or generic of-the-moment R&B for him – the blunt pop-rock of One Direction has been forsaken for soulful funk on Watermelon Sugar, Californian hippie balladry on Canyon Moon and disco gospel on the defiantly odd Treat People With Kindness. Sunflower, Vol 6 – perhaps the result of one of the magic mushroom trips he told Rolling Stone about – sounds like it was bathed in southern California sunshine. The song that starts off with a mood of melancholy ultimately ends in … Busy and beachy, “Sunflower Vol. Regarding sound, Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson give him a top-notch backdrop to work with. It has been four years since One Direction gave their last performance on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on 31st December 2015 . Sign up for our newsletter. (Oh).” ✓  “Lights Up” certainly amplified speculation regarding Harry Styles’ sexuality, but what’s most important is how intriguing the record is. Come Styles’ second album, the question was: Would he chicken out and play more directly to his target demo? But to some, Styles’s aesthetic – whether the 70s California stylings of his self-titled debut or his conspicuously flamboyant attire – looked like window dressing on a blank shopfront. But the album’s most endearing moments are when he experiments. Harry Styles’ ‘Fine Line’: Album Review On a very good sophomore album, Styles raises heavy philosophical questions, like: Is it "Dad rock" if it's mostly young women streaming it? But when “Treat People With Kindness” arrives, it trips balls. As “Fine Line” progresses, the song percolates more. Even when that said boy band is One Direction, and all five original members have talent, usually one shines brighter than the rest. The result is another lovely, thoughtful record, one specifically about an ex-girlfriend. ✓ “Golden” commences Fine Line in bright and spirited fashion. Lyrically, “Adore You” is a straightforward – nothing particularly deep or transcendent beyond the expected. But the Sixties and Seventies signifiers sprinkled throughout the album — a little organ, some clavinet and even George Harrison specials like electric sitar and sarangi — are expertly Vitamixed into pop-rock smoothies you can dance to, like the strutting “Adore You” and soulful “Lights Up.”, Aided by genre-fluid songwriters like Kid Harpoon, Jeff Bhasker, Greg Kurstin, and Amy Allen, Styles is also now mining some rich millennial veins as well. “Canyon Moon” is an incredibly groovy, folk-rock record that suits Styles particularly well. He still sings the blues on breakup ballad Cherry, and gives us a taste of old school rock’n’roll on the jolly Canyon Moon and Treat People With Kindness. Trump Talks of ‘Leaving the Country’ if He Loses, Stevie Wonder Releases First New Music in 15 Years, Ice Cube Tries to Explain What in the Hell He Was Thinking, Watch the Osbournes Go Ghost Hunting in ‘Night of Terror’ Trailer, These 3 Pieces of High-End Fitness Equipment Are Better Than Anything at the Gym, Harry Styles Is a Rock God and a Gentleman on ‘Fine Line’, Blink 182 Sound Self-Aware and Mature on ‘Nine’, Post Malone Keeps His Unstoppable Roll Going on ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’. (Especially when Styles, an irresistible flirt of a singer, gets playful like he does on heartbreaker ballad “Cherry,” dragging out the word “haaaating” from “I’m hating it” like he’s repeating a favorite line from Clueless. The languorous To Be So Lonely and She close in and become claustrophobic, like his late-night anxieties. Harry Styles - Fine Line review: The most interesting boy band escapee yet. At The Disco single, “Hallelujah,” ranks among the deepest songs of the alternative band's decade-long career. Review: The War with Grandpa Is a Parade of Stale-on-Arrival Gags. Register with your social account or click here to log in. Watch the video for Adore You by Harry Styles. A tedious passage in the middle finds him wallowing, crying out to be taken seriously on the six-minute She and beating himself up over flamenco guitar on To Be So Lonely.