By Ashley Oken
Zayn’s eagerly awaited 3rd album, No one’s Listening, is out today (January 15), and rather of the sprawling 90 minutes of 2018’s Icarus Falls or the pop maximalism of his 2016 launching, Mind of Mine, it scales back to concentrate on the vocalist’s inmost thoughts, consisting of nostalgia, sexual desire, and heartbreak. It’s a tenacious yet delicate album full of stripped compositions and intimate lyrics, the kind that longtime fans need throughout a turbulent time.
Teasing brand-new music for months prior to the release, Zayn dropped the early songs “Better” in September and “Vibez” three months later. The previous hit the Billboard Hot 100 in October, while the latter set the tone for the remainder of the album to come with its neo-soul ambiance. On January 12, Zayn even launched a phone line for fans to get a taste of the brand-new collection, playing snippets of tracks for ecstatic fans. The finished product comprises 11 tracks that provide fans a window into Zayn’s growth as an artist and a person, reviewing the recent birth of his child and nostalgia on lead track “Calamity” while keeping his mastery of sensuality on “Sweat.”
Within this entire album, there is a sense of maturity and clearness within the lyrical content and production style, signaling a step in a fresh direction for the former One Instructions member.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: classic.
Key lyric: “Can I resist the void?/ Leave a mark on this without any start, just exist”
One of the most susceptible tunes on the album is its opener. Zayn chooses to rap on the track, sedately reciting an introspective poem that gives fans a look into his life as the daddy of a child lady, his long-term relationship with Gigi Hadid, and an overview of the last 10 years of his life– though he doesn’t use specifics. Listen to this the next time those 3 a.m. thoughts hit you in the middle of the night.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: reflective.
Key lyric: “‘Cause in some cases it’s much better that way/ Got ta let it go so your heart do not break”
Singing about giving an on-off relationship a second possibility over a soft beat, Zayn reveals that love for someone does not pass away quickly. This tune will have you thinking “what if” when an ex-flame messages you on social media.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: apologetic.
Key lyric: “I know I’m not so innocent/ however the love I had for you was real”
With its crooning and potent lyricism, Zayn sings about a turbulent relationship in which he’s committed to his partner and hopes they’ll let him back in. This acoustic-anchored song will have you thinking over that morning battle you had with your partner.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: amorous.
Secret lyric: “I’ve been waiting all night to get closer/ And you already understand I got it for ya”
Over its sultry, ’90 s R&B- motivated beat, Zayn perfectly describes the crushing anticipation and tension that coats the room when you’re with your crush. Play this the next time you’re preparing yourself for a virtual date with your paramour.
” When Love’s Around” (ft. Syd)
Listen to it when you’re feeling: groovy.
Key lyric: “Never ever feel that kind of way/ But I require you in my life”
A team-up with singer-songwriter Syd, the song discovers the duo gently singing about not feeling like love is possible until someone changes their view. Like the rest of the album, this succinct track is airy, propelled by a soft, danceable beat, and will make you consider the someone for whom you dumped the dating apps while dancing slowly around your house.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: lustful.
Secret lyric: “And I don’t wan na miss out on another love/ So I’m gon na dive in, go headfirst into the unknown”
This easy tune discovers Zayn brandishing an unbelievable falsetto and the kind of bedroom guitar strums he utilized to make a staple of his Instagram page.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: attractive.
Key lyric: “Leaking down your body like gold/ Slowly steamin’ up the windows”
An ’80 s-style power ballad rooted in dripping synth sounds, Zayn offers us an addition to the Spotify sex playlist with lyrics that paint an image of all the methods physical enjoyment can make us hot. Play this the next time you wish to get down with your partner.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: like a manager.
Key lyric: “They stated I would not do shit/ Now they everything about my new shit”
This downbeat, gently funky, and bending track draws parallels in between Zayn’s life as a member of One Direction and whatever that came after, calling forth his strength and capability to be “unfuckwitable” now that he’s in control of his image and success. Play this next time you ace that work or school project.
” Windowsill” (ft. Devlin)
Listen to it when you’re feeling: hot.
Secret lyric: “Cigarettes and fuckin’ on the window sill/ Break the glass, go and show me how you really feel”
Constructed like an emo-rap track, “Windowsill” focuses on Zayn’s desires– specifically, his guarantees to enjoyment his fan on the countertop and every surface area you can possibly imagine. Over an electronic beat, British rapper Devlin adds his own devilish details, like, “And I make sure she lure Satan, if she ain’t the devil herself.” Play this the next time you need a soundtrack for some stay-at-home, uh, adventure.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: spiritually in love.
Secret lyric: “‘Cause I’m already up here and I got my eyes closed/ And I ain’t never ever fell from a love this tall”
Interpolating the swoon-worthy 1960 single “Chaudhvin Ka Chand” by Indian singer Mohammed Rafi, Zayn includes the Urdu lyrics to this acoustic-based ditty to add to this song about spiritual love. Play this tune when you seem like you require to understand your strength to make it through a difficult time.
” River Roadway”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: confident.
Key lyric: “Breeze outside my window relied on color/ Know that I will see the sun once again”
This jazzy pop ballad is a gentle and tender closer to the album, giving hope for better days although we can’t control the result of our current scenarios.
- State Of Mind Music