Album review: Zayn Malik - Mind of Mine

Was leaving the world's biggest boy band actually worthwhile?

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What's the deal?

It's a year to the day since Zayn Malik upped and left One Direction slap bang in the middle of their On the Road Again tour. He'd already played his last gig in Hong Kong, was getting loads of shit from the press over those cheating rumours and, yeah, he broke our hearts with one single statement.

'After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction.' A sentence that'll haunt us forever.

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D'ya know what, though? Here we are 366 days later and things kinda worked out alright. Harry, Louis, Liam and Niall released Made in the A.M., won themselves another BRIT Award for 'Drag Me Down' and solo Zayn Malik slayed the entire globe with his debut single 'PILLOWTALK.' Excpet he's just ZAYN now, obviously. But does his properly-anticipated solo record Mind of Mine actually live up to the hype or should he have just stuck with 1D? Let's 'ave a listen.

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How does the album pan out?

In short, like a bloody dream. Zayn's already admitted he didn't feel emotionally attached to One Direction's music, yada yada; but you can properly tell this is the work of a guy catapulted from comprehensive school to the world's biggest boy band before deciding it wasn't really for him. Zayn's laid back R&B roots have been obvious since his very first X Factor audition (Mario's 'Let Me Love You') and Mind of Mine's an experimental extension of that sound.

Ditching the pop-rock sound One Direction totally claimed as their own; this album takes more influence from the likes of Miguel and The Weeknd in that it's cool, melancholic and essentially just well edgy.

ThaT'S JusT eXeMPliFieD bY thE FacT ThE TrACk NamES aRe aLL tYpEd LiKe tHiS ReALLy, iNnIt?

Tracks most likely to top the charts:

Okay, so we pretty much love 'em all, but our initial faves are probably:

'dRuNk'

We're gonna need this to be the third (we're on the third, right, after 'LIKE I WOULD'?) single, tbh. There's a cute little piano riff, the vocals are FLAWLESS and it's basically chill af. It's perfect for summer (as the 'drunk all summer' hook sort of suggests) and, yeah, it's our standout so far.

'sHe'

'sHe' is just well funky (yup, we used 'funky' as an adjective and we ain't even sorry about it), sounds like something straight off of Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience album and it's got us boppin' about like nobody's business.

One of the more commercial tunes on the record, this one's super catchy and the production is SO SLICK. Obsessed.

'fOoL fOr YoU'

While 'iT's YoU' was a grower, this one's probably the closest we're gonna get to an old school One Direction-style boy band ballad. That doesn't mean to say it's by-numbers at all; Zayn himself has admitted he was listening to a lot of John Lennon when he wrote this one and the quirky glitches in the production *are* kinda reminiscent of The Beatles' more psychedelic moments.

'wRoNg'

This is the one with Kehlani, and while it's probably not *big* enough to be a smash single it's still a fave. Couldn't help but include it.

'LIKE I WOULD'

This is the next single he shot that video for anyway, and with bloody good reason. Such a tune.

We'd listen to it...

Having sex. Whaaat? He's said he's cool with people doing that.

After listening to it, we felt like...

Having sex.

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Final verdict:

There's no denying Mind of Mine's a massive departure from 1D's sound, but it doesn't feel try hard at all. It just sounds like the artist Zayn's always wanted to be. Okay, okay; some of the tracks not be as instantly catchy or commercial as 'What Makes You Beautiful' but that's not the point.

It feels weird, but listening to this album you don't think of Zayn as 'that lad who left One Direction.' You think of him as a brand new artist. He's successfully made the transition from boy band member to credible musician and we're pretty happy with how everything wrked out tbh.

4.5 1
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