Fans often want certain things from their favorite artists, however, artists can also want things from their fans. For example, Harry Styles would prefer fans to listen to his albums in a particular way. Here’s a look at some of the work he puts into his albums — and how that’s supposed to impact his listeners.
How Harry Styles wants people to hear his work
Firstly, a little background. Kid Harpoon is a producer who worked with a number of prominent artists, like Meghan Trainor, Shawn Mendes, Lily Allen, and Florence + the Machine. He also worked with Styles a number of times and told Variety what Styles wants his albums to be. “Harry is very specific in that he wants an album, not a collection of songs,” he said. This makes sense as Styles draws a lot of influence from 1970s rock. Artists from that era like David Bowie and Pink Floyd helped pioneer the concept album.
Styles elaborated on this notion, revealing he likes people to listen to his albums in sequence. “How do you want people to hear your work?,” he said. “Because I do sit down and listen to albums, and I care about the way that things run — how that makes me feel and the story that it tells. It’s only natural that I would put emphasis on that.”
“So if you have the album on repeat, it can be a circular thing,” he reveals. “And then it’s just building it out. You’ll have a song and think, ‘This feels like a track six. I don’t know why; it just does.’ You listen all the way through and figure out: There’s too much of this, or I get bored here, or this comes too fast…. Patience with sequencing is so much of it and the sequencing on this one definitely took a lot longer than the first album.”
Is ‘Fine Line’ resonating as a collection of songs or as a whole?
Clearly, Styles wants fans to digest Fine Line as one, complete statement in order. This raises an interesting question: Are the songs from Fine Line connecting to people on their own? And how is the album connecting with the public as a whole?
Several singles reached the Billboard Hot 100, specifically “Adore You,” “Golden,” “Lights Up,” “Falling,” and “Watermelon Sugar.” In fact, the latter song reached the pinnacle of the chart, becoming Styles’ first — and so far, only — single to do so. While Fine Line is meant to be listened to in order, some of the songs are widely resonating on their own.
So is Fine Line resonating as a whole? The album reached the top of the Billboard 200, just like Styles’ self-titled debut album. In addition, Rolling Stone ranked it No. 491 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time — quite an honor for an album so recent. Commercially speaking, Fine Line is working as a full album and as a collection of songs.
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