the anti-social network



Mar 29, 2016

The day One Direction fans were waiting for came last Friday with the release of former band member Zayn Malik’s debut record Mind of Mine. While 1D’s future remains uncertain, Zayn’s solo album shows potential for the moody pop performer. Zayn stated he left 1D to be a “normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight,” but that didn’t last long, and his celebrity seems to have grown exponentially since his departure from the band. On Mind of Mine, Zayn plays with pop—something 1D didn’t seem to allow him to do. With his first single “Pillowtalk,” Zayn revealed his want to take on R&B falsettos through anthemic pop melodies. It’s left-of-center pop that allows for Zayn to stretch his legs when it comes to experimentation. Instead of taking cues from his boy band past, Zayn seems to have found inspiration in the R&B realm from the likes of Miguel. It’s something he blends with dance-pop rhythms while showing himself off as a better lover than anyone else on “Like I Would.” Proving that no genre is off limits, Zayn even shows off his chops for psych balladry on “It’s You.”

With 18 tracks, Zayn explores all parts of himself personally, but doesn’t take an obvious political perspective. While singing in Urdu on “Flower,” he seems to blend his Muslim heritage into his music. While subtle, it’s a strong statement, especially in the pop realm. On Mind of Mine, Zayn shows that anything is possible when it comes to pop, and he’s going to be here for the long haul.

You can stream Mind of Mine below.