After the release of Harry Styles’ self-titled debut solo album, Harry Styles, the artist has reemerged into the music scene with his single, “Lights Up,” which was released on October 11, also known as National Coming Out Day. Besides the potentially symbolic meaning of the title referring to his musical reappearance since his last album, “Lights Up” has fans wondering whether or not the song alludes to his own coming out as bisexual. Other than being released on National Coming Out Day, the lyrics, “step into the light… lights up and they know who you are… I’m not ever going back”, support this theory.
With it’s slow ascension and guitar, the song lets out into a bass and Styles’ introduction. Essentially, the lyrics repeat throughout the single until it reaches a crescendo. The drop-off of sounds besides the simple keys of a piano before the chorus is followed by a burst from the backup choir, elevating Styles’ voice with a soulful and reinvigorating energy and essence. Since the single’s long-awaited release since his last album, Harry Styles, “Lights Up” resonates with an explosion of energy and an uplifting type of expression in direct comparison to his somber single, “Sweet Creature.”
Before its anticipated release on December 13, Styles decided to release yet another single from his album Fine Line. “Watermelon Sugar” carries just about the same energy that “Lights Up” does except that it creates its own environment that makes the listener yearn for a sweet summer day. The lyrics, “I don’t know if I could ever go without… baby, you’re the end of June, I want your belly and that summer feeling, getting washed away in you”, illustrates Styles’ desire for someone who equates to the sweetness and delightfulness of a fruit, contributing to the rejuvenating vibe of the song. The repetitiveness of the chorus and the echo of “watermelon sugar high, I just wanna taste it” really drives home the uplifting energy of the single as well.
The components of both “Lights Up” and “Watermelon Sugar” essentially match, as they both lack of lyricism that Styles repeats throughout both songs which increases to a climax. The singles exhibit a spirit that Harry Styles lacked, his 2017 album mostly demonstrating new sounds such as its attempts within the realm of rock such as in his songs, “Only Angel” and “Kiwi.” Since his separation from One Direction, Harry Styles gave fans another taste of music style that hadn’t been illustrated before by either Styles or the band. Especially from Harry Styles, songs such as “Meet Me in the Hallway” and “From the Dining Hall” serve as stark contrasts to “Lights Up and “Watermelon Sugar”.
On November 4, Styles himself tweeted the release date and album art for his sophomore album. The fish-eyed photo style of the art with Styles posing as if caught in a dance most accurately represents what to expect from the album thus far, as both “Watermelon Sugar” and “Lights Up” generate a need to dance and belt the lyrics from the top of your lungs. Hopefully when Fine Line releases, this kind of energy is consistent throughout the album, although it would be nice for a little deviation and variety from the repetitiveness and crescendo of sound found within the first two singles.