After the release of his debut album, American Teen, Khalid has made himself a house hold name in the genre of R&B. Known for his youthful commentary on aspirations and love, he definitely makes an impact with soulful vocals and ear catching melodies. Growing from his SunCity EP which was released in late 2018, Free Spirit further defines his transition from teenager to young adult with the songs taking on a mature vibe. The contrast of Free Spirit to his first album, allows the listener to hear the shift that Khalid undertakes to assert himself as a young man yearning to understand himself, normalizing situations that most listeners can relate to.
The intro track, aptly titled “Intro” is a light beginning to the album with a surprising twist in the lyrics, setting a serious tone for the album. The lyrics highlight the miscommunications of relationships as well as the mental well being of the individual, where sometimes the best thing to do is to admit how you are feeling and to step back and work on yourself.
One of the singles, “Talk” is a compelling track with an addictive melody that will definitely get stuck in your head. Differing from the album’s reflective tone, the song lightens the mood. From the fade in to the electric beat, the song is masterfully produced a definitive symbol of Disclosure’s abilities. The track showcases Khalid’s vocal growth, where smooth choruses are perfectly weaved with the melody. The punchy beat and soulful vocals make this the perfect song to blare with the windows down this summer.
“Outta My Head” is a beautifully crafted track filled with airy vocals and catchy psychedelic guitar riffs. The track is lighthearted, focusing on a new budding romance. The gated beat gives the song an 80’s feel, which only heightens with the guitar solo performed by John Mayer near the ending of the song. The transition from the verses into the choruses is smooth, making this track a solid ode to soft rock, a great distinction from the entirety of the album. It shows the versatility that Khalid is capable of, seamlessly shifting between RnB and Soft Rock.
While the few tracks fall out of the norm, the remainder of the album follows a somber tone. Songs such as “Alive” and “Self” are a dark reminder of self reflecting and finding a reason to keep going. The album is a path to finding freedom as your own person, and Khalid definitely displayed the journey well. Highlighting shortcomings and doubts within Free Spirit, Khalid touches topics that are meaningful yet relatable to his listeners.
Writte for: HighlightMagazine.net