With the surprise release of the “Golden” music video last week, it is safe to say that the “Fine Line” era of Harry Styles’ career has officially closed and a new chapter has opened. “Fine Line” is a collection of 12 songs that tell a story about sex, love and sadness. Although the songs are quite personal, fans everywhere could relate to the emotions behind the words and look for Easter eggs to get a glimpse into Styles’ world.
Fans were unable to both experience this era to its fullest extent and attend the “Love On Tour” due to the ongoing pandemic. It is important to cherish all that we have experienced in the past year since the release of October 2019’s “Lights Up,” the first single from “Fine Line.”
Here are some of the highlights and hidden messages you might have missed in the five singles of “Fine Line.”
1. Lights Up
The first single from “Fine Line,” “Lights Up,” is about change, transformation and self-discovery. It tells the story of Styles finding his true self while being vulnerable. In the first verse, he mentions that he is “never coming back down” after all of the changes he has made in his life. He apologizes for transforming drastically but admits that he could not last being his former self. Styles knows that when the lights go up, everyone will know who he is, but he is also not entirely sure if he knows himself well enough.
In the bridge of the song, Styles repeatedly sings “Shine, step into the light / Shine, so bright sometimes / Shine, I’m not ever going back,” further emphasizing how happy he is to have finally found himself. One thing that fans are dying to know is what does “the light” mean? Some believe it is just another word for living a public life, while others think it represents Styles coming out. The single was released on National Coming Out Day, which further led fans to believe the second theory.
Styles has not yet confirmed the meaning of the lyrics, leaving it up to the fans for interpretation. The song ends with the question “Do you know who you are?” It is almost as if Styles is directly asking the listener if they truly know themselves since he has learned so much about himself. The music video left fans speechless. It opens up with Styles half-naked, surrounded by a bunch of sweaty people in some sexual setting. Styles is pushed around by the other people around him and looks confused, alluding to the idea that he has been pushed around his entire career. In a split-second clip, Styles is seen drowning in the same pink water used for the cover of his first solo album, attempting to separate his current self from his former self.
2. Watermelon Sugar
3. Adore You
“Adore You” was released a week before Styles released his second album. Similar to “Watermelon Sugar,” “Adore You” is another happy-go-lucky song that focuses on the excitement experienced during the beginning of a new relationship. In the very first verse, fans can tell that Styles is infatuated with the person he is in a relationship with. He describes them as a “rainbow paradise” and tells them that he “gets so lost inside your eyes.” However, despite Styles’ infatuation, he realizes that the other person may not feel the same way and agrees to a no-strings-attached relationship, singing “You don’t have to say you love me / You don’t have to say nothing / You don’t have to say you’re mine.” Styles is willing to do anything for his partner, even walk through fire for them, but he wants to adore his partner. He describes his partner’s body as a “wonder under summer skies,” but does not believe his partner understands just how much he loves her.
The music video for “Adore You” is quite different from the ones made for his other singles. It was shot in the imaginary town of Eroda in Wales and portrays Styles as a local in this coastal village. Despite the happiness expressed in the song and the innocent personality of Styles’ character, the video has a very eerie feeling to it. It starts with Styles capturing a beautiful small fish at the beach and bringing it home. He looks after the fish and is obsessed with it. He starts singing the lyrics to the fish, almost as if the fish is the love of his life. Over time, the fish grows and can no longer fit into the small tank Styles created for it, which leads to its eventual release back into the ocean. While some fans believed the video was pure fiction, others thought the fish was an analogy for a partner Styles had. He desperately tries to hold onto them even though they keep changing. Styles keeps adapting to fit the needs of his partner but soon realizes that he has to let them go.
“Falling” takes a serious turn from the previous two singles, because it is a rather depressing song. It is about the mistakes Styles made during a relationship and the regret and loneliness he feels from it. Styles describes the changes in himself and how disappointed he is with the person he is becoming. The song starts with Styles blaming “the drink in [his] wandering hands” for his partner leaving him. He begs his partner to forget what he said in the heat of the moment because he did not mean it. He asks himself “What am I now? What if I am someone I don’t want around?” Styles does not like the person he is becoming but cannot find any way to escape the inevitable. He wonders about his partner’s perception of him and is worried that they will never talk about him. He sings “I’m fallin’ again, I’m fallin’ again, I’m fallin’” leaving the listener to assume that this happened to him before.
In the next verse, Styles has a reflective moment when he sings “And I’m well aware I write too many songs about you.” He repeats his regretful feelings before expressing that he is afraid his partner will no longer need him. In the music video, Styles is sitting on a bathroom floor drenched in water. He plays the piano in an elaborate outfit with a drink sitting on top of it. As he plays, water spills out from the piano and slowly fills up the room. Everything in the room floats to the top, but Styles ends up drowning in the water and continues to sing. The video ends with Styles still underwater. However, viewers can assume that Styles has survived since he was seen at the beginning of the video soaking wet. Styles overcame his mistakes and changes for the better.
The last single released from “Fine Line,” “Golden” comes across as a happy song, but one quick look at the lyrics will leave you with a different feeling. Although “Golden” sounds upbeat, it is actually focused on how Styles fears loneliness and wants something he cannot have. He describes his partner as golden and begs them to take him “back to the light.” Styles references “the light” from “Lights Up” and wants to return to the person he once was before all the mistakes. He thinks his partner is too good for him and admits that he is “hopeless, broken.” Following the chorus, Styles re-emphasizes his fear of being alone, singing “I don’t wanna be alone / When it ends don’t wanna let you know.” This insinuates that Styles is so afraid of being alone that he is willing to be in a dead-end relationship. He addresses his partner’s fear of being in a relationship with him because of how famous he is. The song ends with Styles admitting that he is crazy about the other person but understands why his partner does not want to get more involved with him.
This October, fans of Harry Styles were sent into a frenzy when his team announced via social media that his video for “Golden” would be released the next day. At the beginning of “Golden,” Styles is in a dark tunnel, still unsure of who he is. As soon as the beat drops, Styles is running through the streets with a bright smile on his face. Fans get to see the goofy, fun-loving side of Styles not portrayed in other videos. He is seen dancing, smiling and simply vibing to the beats of the song. Another reference is made to the “Lights Up” video when Styles is swimming in the water and rises to the surface instead of drowning. At the end of the video, Styles stops running since he finally finds what he is searching for and no longer needs to chase after it.