When Zayn Malik announced his departure from One Direction, millions of hearts broke all around the world, including mine. If you guys haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of a fan girl, always have been. Yes, I had One Direction and Justin Bieber posters in my room as a teenager(still do actually lol) , and the thought that the boy-band I had fell in love with at 15 was now going to be incomplete was unbearable at the time. Despite all this, I knew in my heart that Zayn was doing the right thing. I personally always thought he was a bit different from the rest of the band so him breaking out didn’t shock me too much.
Soon after Zayn announced that he had signed a contract with RCA records and was working on a debut solo album. I was just as excited as everyone else to see what he would create after fighting so hard to come out of an already successful and well-known boy band.
“Pillow Talk” is the well-received first single from “Mind of Mine”. This is exactly the kind of song I had expected from Zayn in terms of content but I was surprised by the production. The beats were very heavy and electronic but somehow blended they flawlessly with Zayn’s smooth vocals. The song grew on me, and soon enough I was playing it about ten times a day. It’s an obvious statement of maturity, a breakaway from the family friendly image that One Direction is accustomed to. The video for this song features his current girlfriend Gigi Hadid, and a lot of sexually teasing visuals, yes we get it Zayn, you’re old now, you’ve had sex….
Besides that, I was even more curious to see if he’d keep up the momentum with the rest of his LP. He works with Frank Ocean’s collaborator, Malay ,on most of the album to create a couple of down-tempo R&B ballads such as “She” , “It’s You” and “Drunk”. There’s no doubt that Zayn can sing and his voice is gorgeously displayed on the song “Intermission: flower” which is sung entirely in Urdu, his father’s native language.
He belts into a falsetto in “ BeFour” one of tracks I mostly enjoyed on the album. Another of my favorites is “Wrong” featuring Kehlani, that song is straight fire from start to finish. Zayn mixes up the ballads with some electro- R&B in “Like I Would” and “Lucozade”. The album has chilled out songs, uptempo ones, emotional ones, sensual ones…it’s everything Zayn likes lol. Although critics have argued that this LP has no exact theme or direction, I think that the album title suggests that the LP is all about Zayn and no person can be completely summed up into one thing. I generally enjoyed this LP, even though it’s the typical “I just left a boy-band and I’m grown now” album. I think Zayn executed it how he knew best, and really kept it true to himself. In my opinion “Mind of Mine” is a solid alternative R&B album that deserves a listen.
TCW RATING: 6/10