The Tea From John Ly

By John Ly // Instagram @jxhnly

Here’s the tea from me, John Ly.

Fine Line. Harry Styles’ second studio album…Average.

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many aspects of this album that make the album loveable but from my perspective, there was nothing ground-breaking about the album. On this project, Harry released three singles before revealing his entire album, Lights Up, Watermelon Sugar, and Adore You. All of these singles debut highly on the Billboard charts which was very much deserved as it created an uproar for what Styles’ was going to release next. Adore you, was a BANGER. IT slapped. It gave me everything. The music video? A concept. However…following those singles was his album…

Like I said earlier, the album isn’t terrible. Other than the previously released singles, Cherry and Falling were the only songs on the album that stood out to me. They made me cry. Both songs were raw and relatable, perfect for the brokenhearted. After that though…Harry, what happened?

The tracks after Falling became theatrical, an experimentation on old rock music with a Harry Styles twist. It was boring and had no replay value. Each track carried the same melody that repeated throughout the song and it was difficult for me to pay attention to the rest of the album. Two of the tracks, She and Fine Line were six minutes long which dragged out the album even more. When an artist releases songs that are more than the typical three to four minutes long it is essential to keep listeners entertained with some progression or tempo change, something that adds another “oomph” to the song. 

For example, Justin Timberlake’s song Mirrors was actually eight minutes long. It became one of his most well-known songs. Radios evened played the full song, not even a radio edit. Why? The song pulled listeners into a journey of emotions. From the changing of tempos, instruments, and melodies, the song was simply a masterpiece. Needless to say, if you want to make a song that is loooong, make it captivating. 

Fine Line as a whole would have been greater if the tracklist was mixed around a little. I know that Harrys’ intention was to separate his album into four different stories, but the concept became diluted with dullness. I needed an emotional rollercoaster from him but all I got is a flatline. 

I’m not a hater. I love Harry, his music, his fashion. I just expected more. So here’s the tea from me, John Ly. This album was not for me. Score?


John Ly is a College of Charleston student studying Arts Management with a Concentration in Music Industry. As a singer/songwriter himself, John plans to establish his own music career as a POP icon.

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