Harry Styles announced Monday (Nov. 4) that his sophomore album, Fine Line, is coming on Dec. 13 — and that has us reflecting on his solo career so far and what we want from this next project.
It’s been more than two years since Styles dropped his highly acclaimed self-titled debut album. The Billboard 200 No. 1 release established the former One Direction star as a serious solo artist with rock-inspired hits like «Sign of the Times,» which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Written in Jamaica only a year after the announcement of a One Direction hiatus, the 10 tracks Styles worked on transformed his former boy band heartthrob image into one of an up-and-coming rock star. Styles spent the following year after the release of his debut album playing his songs in arenas around the world.
In the two years since his first album, Styles has also pursued other creative ventures. He made his foray into acting as Alex in Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk, become a fashion icon through his partnership with Gucci, co-chaired the 2019 Met Gala, executive produced the CBS show Happy Together, proved himself an LGBTQ ally through his many philanthropic donations, and guest-starred on multiple episodes of The Late Late Show With James Corden.
Although there have been signs that Styles was gearing up to return to music and release his sophomore album since the beginning of 2019 — including turning down the role of Prince Eric in the upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid movie — there was no clearer clue that HS2 was coming than when he dropped his single «Lights Up» last month. Since then, he has teased fans with «Do You Know Who You Are?» tweets that include links to his website and hints about upcoming songs on the album.
So it came as no surprise when Styles announced Monday that his second collection of songs, Fine Line, was due to arrive on Dec. 13.
Fans were sent into a frenzy with the news of this reveal, quick to speculate on what the notably private Styles had up his sleeve for his grand return to the music world.
Here are five things we hope to hear from Fine Line:
«Kiwi» part two
When Styles tweeted «Kiwi walked so Watermelon Sugar could run» on Oct. 22, his followers freaked out over the potential of a second fruit-inspired song from the singer.
Long known as the favorite from his self-titled project, «Kiwi» inspired love from both supporters and Styles — who often played the song on tour several times in one night.
Cryptic lyrics like «I’m having your baby/ It’s none of your business» elicited high energy from those at Styles’ shows, as well as multiple kiwi fruit gifts thrown onstage.
There is no doubt that fans have asked for — and hope to receive — a second rock-inspired anthem to lose their minds (and fruit) to during the shows on Styles’ next world tour.
An «Only Angel»-esque show opener
After receiving feedback from fans that attended his 2017 headlining tour that the song «Only Angel» would be a perfect show opener, Styles changed the set list for each show on his 2018 run to open with the pop-rock bop.
With lyrics like «I saw this angel/ I really saw an angel» spoken over a heavenly sounding chorus, an ethereal opening is turned into pure rock ‘n’ roll with a sudden scream of «Woo-hoo» from Styles.
Since there will most likely be a Fine Line tour in 2020, a song on the forthcoming album that is made to perfectly start the show off like «Only Angel» would be the perfect gift for Styles’ fans.
A studio version of «Medicine»
When Styles kicked off his world tour last year, he included two new, unreleased songs in his set list: «Anna» and «Medicine.» The rock-inspired track «Medicine» quickly became a crowd favorite.
With unconfirmed lyrics like «The boys and the girls are in/ I mess around with him/ And I’m OK with it,» «Medicine» famously added to the speculation around Styles’ sexuality — which the star has never confirmed.
Since fans have begged the star to release a studio version of the song for over a year, the track dubbed «‘Kiwi»s younger sister» would make a perfect bonus track on Fine Line.
An LGBTQ anthem
Although Styles has never confirmed or denied that he is personally a member of the LGBTQ community — he has previously stated that he doesn’t feel the need to label himself — he has definitely shown himself as an ally.
On his 2018 world tour, the star sold tees and hoodies sporting the phrase «Treat People With Kindness» that raised money for LGBTQ rights. In total, Styles’ tour raised more than $1.2 million for various charities.
Additionally, since his One Direction days, Styles has been known for picking up rainbow flags thrown onstage during his shows and waving them around in support of his LGBTQ fans.
Another LGBTQ anthem like «Medicine» would continue to empower Styles’ LGBTQ fans, adding to the feeling of acceptance audience members have shared that they feel during his concerts.
More heartbreak-inspired ballads
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Styles revealed that his second album was about «having sex and feeling sad.» In light of his recent breakup with French model Camille Row, Fine Line will most likely give us an inside look into the singer’s mind during the aftermath of that relationship.
Considering his first album was filled with emotional heartbreak ballads like «Two Ghosts» and «From the Dining Table,» we can only hope to receive more tracks that showcase Styles’ vulnerability and ability to turn heartbreak into art on this new album.
This article was originally published by: Billboard