Zayn Malik may have been the first member of One Direction to leave the boy band and pursue a solo career, but where his solo career has taken him is not impressive. Hearing him sing was more enjoyable when he was a part of One Direction.
Malik released his new album titled Nobody is Listening on Jan. 15, and I have to admit that I will not be listening to it again.
There are 11 songs featured on the album and, for the most part, they all sound the same. I don’t think Malik challenged himself enough musically when creating these songs. The overall themes focus on Malik expressing his sadness about being misunderstood as well as talking about sex.
However, Malik was able to showcase his vocal range throughout the album which I appreciated hearing. I tend to like listening to him when he sings in a higher octave because ever since being in One Directionhe has been known for hitting higher notes well. When he sings in a lower octave, it is more difficult to understand the lyrics and what he is saying because he has a tendency to mumble. Malik also tends to sound monotone when singing in a lower octave which causes me to stop paying attention to the song.
One of the songs that stood out to me while listening to the album was “Calamity.” The song stood out because most of it is done in spoken word which is a unique concept, and it caught my attention right away. Later on in the song, there is a cool effect where the voices have been layered on top of each other as they are speaking. The name of the album came from the lyrics featured in the chorus of this song, which is catchy and has some nice runs as well as falsetto moments.
The song titled “Connexion,” featured a cool and refreshing guitar part throughout the instrumentation. There is also a unique sound in the instrumentation that sounds like a trumpet and this adds a level of interest. Malik’s vocals were strong in this song and at some points I caught myself thinking I was listening to John Legend or Bruno Mars.
Most of Malik’s songs on the album have a laidback and relaxed vibe to them even though the lyrics tend to contradict that vibe. However, to be honest, I found it hard to pay attention to the lyrics because of Malik’s mumbling or because they made me feel uncomfortable.
While there are a few aspects of Malik’s overall musicality that I like, I did not enjoy listening to this album. The instrumentation became somewhat stale, I did not like the messages from the lyrics and I do not think Malik showcased his full potential as a singer.
I would not recommend that people listen to this album because it doesn’t have anything really worth listening to. The only song I would possibly recommend would be “Calamity” because of how unique it is, and I would only recommend it to a very specific group of people who I feel would possibly enjoy it.
However, the art for the cover of the album is nicely done in a graffiti style and features a large variety of colors. The figures seem to represent people who all have white eyes and blank stares. This album cover is definitely a unique piece of art and the blank stares seem fitting because that was basically my reaction to this album when listening to the songs.