Since the death of rock and roll occurred in the early part of the 21st century, many newer genres have created some good and some not-so-good pop stars of the day. Khalid is a newcomer to the pop music scene, and this is his most recent album.
Let’s give this a spin, and see whether or not this music is any good.
The picturesque Intro kicks off the album. It sounds very contemporary and Khalid’s voice is beautiful and soulful. This is by far one of the better pop music listening experiences you can have, at least so far. The lyrics are very introspective and are excellent. The ambient soundscape fits Khalid’s singing perfectly.
Next is Bad Luck, sounding a lot like Pink Floyd with the tripped-out guitar parts at the beginning. It then blasts into a downtempo ambient groove which is surprisingly fresh, original, and good to hear. It’s a welcome change from the ordinary pop music of these days. It fits the contemporary scene, but being original as well.
My Bad is a trendy sounding piece that would be perfect for a house party in 2019. It’s an apology to a lover, and although seems like it almost the same as the last track, it is a bit different compared to that. Sounds smooth, Khalid does well here.
Better is a more psychedelic sounding piece from Khalid. No doubt Khalid would have dabbled in drugs at some point, yet he delivers so well here. The music here is fresh, inspired, and artistic. Nice job dude. His voice is beautiful and soulful, a rarity in pop music these days. The vocoder part is interesting.
Next is Talk (feat. Disclosure). No, it’s not a Coldplay cover either of their own song of fame. Instead, we have Khalid discussing relationship issues, and asking to talk through the problems at hand. He sounds very gentle here though. Another excellent effort here, good work once again.
After that, we have Right Back. Relationship stuff is once again, on the menu. But still, there is nobody quite like Khalid out there in a musical sense. This recording is not a reason to use your LP/CD/iPod as a frisbee. Leave that to less talented contemporaries out there. Khalid does very well here. Very catchy.
Don’t Pretend (feat. SAFE) has beautiful acoustic guitar playing and subdued bongo beats. It’s ridiculously good. We have a really great album here, so far at least. It sounds inspired and fresh material. Khalid’s soothing voice and melodies are definitely unique.
Paradise is the tale of daydreaming for a slice of personal paradise. Surely this is everybody’s fancy idea at some given point of their lives? This song is laid back and awesome, and Khalid deserves to be praised for this nice and gentle music. The Jimi Hendrix like guitar solo at the end rocks.
Next is Hundred. It talks about dealing with a private relationship whilst in the spotlight. This whole album is semi-psychedelic, in a fantastic way. Sounds swirl, effects are cleverly used and the simplicity of the music makes it a winner without going on for too long, even with a track like this one.
The next track is a bit of a surprise, Outta My Head (with John Mayer) is a good combined effort. It’s simple and melodic. Everything fits very well here, a brilliant mixture of sounds and precise effects and mixing. Great stuff.
Free Spirit is the title track. It has some beautiful guitar sounds, to begin with, along with some great psychedelic textures. It has Khalid delivering heart and soul into the song. A truly great postmodern pop artist right here. He is spot on with his vocal delivery as well. Wonderful.
Twenty One is a good song about loving someone at his age (indeed, Khalid was 21 years old upon this album’s release). He does really well in his mood of desperation to fix things in his love life, be it literal or metaphorically. Deep.
Following that, we have Bluffin’ with some cool sounding Fender Stratocaster guitar parts sampled in the background. We then go into a straightforward track that, once again, sounds very good. Some people have accused Khalid of making an album here where all the songs sound the same. This is not the case, but it is almost like a concept album and is great to hear in general.
Next is Self. This is an excellent piece about broken friendships that cannot be repaired, and the hurt and pain as a consequence. It’s a touchy subject, but once again, Khalid does perfectly well here. Music can be a cathartic thing. Some deep, almost chanting, is at the end of the song.
Alive is another deeply delivered and feeling blue sort of song. It’s sad listening, and even emotion changing. It talks about some dark stuff, worth hearing if you enjoy that sort of thing. Good but rather bleak.
Heaven is the aftermath of it all. It pleads to the heavens above for power, guidance, and respect in Khalid’s life. Just like the last track, very bleak. Still, it’s great to hear and worth your time.
Lastly, we have Saturday Nights. It’s a devotion to the night where everyone else goes and does whatever they want for fun. Another beautiful listen, and we end the album nicely here.
Khalid is fantastic at what he does here. The deep and meaningful lyrics and consistent music are well worth hearing here. Do yourself a favour and check out this album today. It’s excellent and definitely worth your time. It is never dull, not for a moment.