Many know Zayn Malik as one of the heartthrobs from British boy band One Direction. In an attempt to break free from the boy band cage, however Malik last month released his first solo album, titled “Mind Of Mine,” under the name “Zayn.”
The album is obviously an attempt at growing up for Malik, and one has to admit that his voice is not bad. Those preteen girls swooned for a reason. His attempt at maturity is where the album goes wrong, however. While trying to come across as more grown-up, Malik ends up making himself look like a sloppy teenager many times throughout the album. His lyrics, in an attempt to prove his status as a “grown man,” are filled with one thing only: girls.
How is this a change from One Direction? Well, instead of talking only about kissing and looking at girls, Malik now croons about getting down and dirty with them. This may shock his 12-year-old fangirls, but to the rest of us, it’s simply uninteresting. We’ve heard it a million times in a million different ways across the airwaves.
Some of the songs on the album come across as flat ballads that leave the listener sick and tired of all the crooning.
Malik’s album also appears to be attempt to set himself apart from the mainstream Disney world he has been immersed in for so long. This attempt at edginess is illustrated by his choice to capitalize random letters in his song titles and by spelling some of these song titles wrong. It looks a bit juvenile but does cause people to do a double-take to try to read something more into the titles than is there, so this may have been a decent move on Malik’s part.
Though the concept of the album itself, as well as many of the lyrics, may fall short of anything incredible, there is a glint of potential hidden deep within the work.
“BeFoUr” gives listeners this glimpse of something potentially good to come. Also “INTERMISSION: fLoWer,” gives listeners a sound that sounds almost like a chant or mantra. If only this intermission were longer, it could be a stand-out track, but it gives us some hope for Malik all the same.
If you are a One Direction fan, you will probably like this album by Zayn. If you are not a One Direction fan, chances are that you won’t find anything particularly thrilling about this solo project. Malik shows he is at least trying to set himself apart from the pack, however, and one has to applaud him for this step and his silky vocals, no matter how repetitive.