“Mind of Mine” by ZAYN makes strong critical, underwhelming listener debut

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“Mind of Mine” by ZAYN makes strong critical, underwhelming listener debut

Photo courtesy of Sydney Stann '17

Photo courtesy of Sydney Stann '17

Photo courtesy of Sydney Stann '17

Photo courtesy of Sydney Stann '17

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By Hailey Murphy ’16 and Sydney Stann ’17 | Staff Writers

Zayn Malik announced his departure from One Direction on March 25 of 2015. Exactly one year later he released his first solo album, “Mind of Mine,” under his new alias, ZAYN. Just 4 months after leaving the band to pursue a more normal life, he was already signed with a new record label.

While One Direction sang about innocent love that appealed to a younger crowd, ZAYN attempted to become a more mature artist through his new R&B sound. We had high hopes for this album due to his single “PILLOWTALK.” The song was catchy and upbeat unlike the majority of his album, consisting of 18 songs.

Unlike “PILLOWTALK,” his other single “iT’s YoU” had a slower rhythm and a more mellow tone. The song reflected on his falling out with his ex-fiancee Perrie Edwards. It falls short in comparison to the other single due to its melancholy tone and lack of interesting lyrics.

His song “BeFoUr” covers who he was as a person “before” he became a member of One Direction. The song correlates to why he left the band and his decision on going solo. ZAYN states: “time for me to move up,” expressing that he is done with the band and wants to move to the next level.

We believe the album falls short on what he was trying to portray and on who he was trying to be. It’s quite apparent  he is trying too hard to express his new life and image, showing people that he is no longer a part of a boy band. After becoming a solo artist and trying to find his sound, ZAYN’s new album falls short compared to other R&B artists like The Weeknd, on which his songs closely resemble.

Although some of his songs have catchy tunes, his lyrics typically lack the maturity he was trying to show his listeners. Lyrics like “love me blue” are repeated continuously in his song, “BLUE”. This song proves he has a lack of depth in regards to being a lyricist.

ZAYN’s album did manage to reach No. 1 on Itunes in more than 70 countries, but that hype quickly deflated. As of April 11, 2016 his album is already down to No. 21 on the charts, with albums that have been released months prior many spaces ahead. Die hard One Direction fans are going to follow ZAYN on whatever path he decides to take, but that doesn’t make his album “good.”

ZAYN’s album has its strengths and its weaknesses, but to us the weaknesses are definitely more apparent. He isn’t living up to the hype in his new album, leaving much room to improve. Considering icons like Beyonce and Justin Timberlake were able to break away from their bands’ legacies, maybe ZAYN can take note and become his own artist.