Former One Direction member hits out with a mediocre debut lacking in creativity or charm
Is it a criminal offence to leave a boy-band and not have to follow it up with a solo effort? At the age of 23, Zayn Malik probably has less of an inkling to settle down in a nice bungalow in the countryside just like those before him so maybe we’re asking too for too much.
Following the precedent set by the likes of Justin Timberlake and Robbie Williams, Malik’s debut album is certainly anticipated by many, if not the millions of fan-girls still distraught over his departure from boy-band sweethearts One Direction then certainly the cynics who wish to see if he sinks or swims. It seems like neither side will be satisfied as Malik just barely keeps his head above water on this release.
It would be easy enough to tear into this album solely because of the artist in question, those teenage years of being envious over girls swooning over Malik could fuel a dissertation, but the truth is that there’s some good, if not great moments on Mind of Mine.
Let’s take for instance She where Malik sings confidently over a finger clicking-ly (quite literally) good synth pop background, distorted vocals resulting in something that wouldn’t feel out of place on The 1975’s latest album. The lyrics as well are far more digestible and catchier than some other tracks on offer here, such as PILLOWTALK, a song that sadly fails both in style and substance.
The fact of the matter is that regardless of his popularity, Malik sounds shy and reclusive on every track. Whilst there’s a flew blips of assured pop perfection like on the aforementioned She, the vocals and sound on here are very safe, very similar to the issue I had with Adele’s last album. This very well could have passed on a One Direction album due to each member’s voice working off one another but when you’re the sole artist on here, you need to offer a little more.
It’s not like Zayn has no talent or potential. Unfortunately though, the few displays of this like on dRuNk, where a Frank Ocean / Miguel vibe can definitely be felt, are far and few between as for every SHE, there’s another two or three tracks that will fail to hold your attention. The RnB genre definitely suits Malik’s voice which is perfectly tuned and can only be faulted for not venturing into any creative ranges or style.
Much like the track names on Mind of Mine, the album is a jumbled mess that will hopefully be better in future endeavours.
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