“Nobody is Listening” Album Review

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Alexis Hampton, Managing Editor

Here it is. The moment we have ALL been waiting for…..Zayn’s album is finally out. It’s been a while, and this album is definitely a far cry from his last. Where his last album was a whopping 29 songs, rounding out to about an hour and 40 minutes in length, “Nobody is Listening” is a lot less to endure. It’s also been a little over 2 years since his last project. Let’s see if it was worth the wait. 

“Calamity”

Easily, my favorite of the entire album. He started out so strong, but it only goes up from here. The vibes on this one are incredible. It gives very much “poetry slam.” The production quality is higher when he’s speaking, so it forces you to focus more on that part than the singing. Also, the music is very simple, which you can appreciate more knowing that that’s not the most important part of the song. This is art.

 

Best lyric: Leave a mark on this with no start, just exist

“Better”

This is a “lay in the grass and stare” at the sun kind of song. I doubt that it will be the song of the summer, but with the sound, it has the potential to be. He shows off his vocals a little more in this song, but he doesn’t go all out, which actually works in his favor. Then, people will have more to look forward to throughout the album and the music is a little more laid back, so over-the-top vocals wouldn’t mesh well.

 

Best lyric: It’s a gamble to take any more of you

“Outside”

This is the one to get you in your relationship feels….but it’s Zayn. Did we really not expect that at some point? You might not need tissues, but you’ll definitely need a moment to collect yourself (especially if the lyrics hit home for you). Besides that, it’s easy listening. Definitely a good song to add to your chill playlist.

 

Best lyric: Two wrongs make no right / When it’s left, at least we tried

“Vibez”

If I’m being honest, this one wasn’t my favorite. It’s a little weird that the song called “Vibez” is the least vibey song on the whole album. I think if it was more of an R&B type of song without the double-time loop beat, it would make a little more sense. Still not a bad song, though. It can definitely grow on you if you listen to it a few times.

 

Best lyric: Not applicable

“When Love’s Around” (feat. Syd)

This is the collaboration we didn’t know we needed. Syd really shines on this track. She adds a dimension to the song that really elevates it all together. It has a bit of an upbeat, Caribbean type of sound, and both of their raspy voices are sure to make you “wind ya waist.”

 

Best lyric: People tend to rush / People tend to run to love

“Connexion”

This is another miss for me. The music for it is incredible, but vocally, the song suffered. It sounds underproduced, which is usually a good thing, but only if you have the vocals to back it up. I wish I could say that the lyrics make up for it…but they don’t. His team probably should’ve worked to develop this one a little more.

 

Best lyric: Not applicable

“Sweat”

This song is 100 percent inspired by “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins and for that reason, it’s almost impossible to hate. Yes, it’s your typical sexy song. You probably could’ve guessed that from the title. Unfortunately, this one is another lyrical flub for that reason. Honestly, the Phil Collins gimmick carries the song. 

 

Best lyric: Not applicable

“Unf*ckwitable”

This track is everything that the album needed. The music is on point, the vocals are incredible and they match the vibe really well, and it’s super relatable. My only qualm with it is that I wish it was longer. I’m obsessed. If you needed a confidence boost, this is the one for you. 

 

Best lyric: Me is all I need to be inspired

“Windowsill” (feat. Devlin)

I’m noticing a pattern here. The songs that highlight sex are the least artistically pleasing. Now let’s really get into it….Devlin’s verse is not at all necessary, nor does it improve the song in any way. In fact, the change in music for his verse was a really bad choice. The music already could stand to be a lot better, but that verse breakdown made it so much worse.

 

Best lyric: Do I even have to say it?

“Tightrope”

This song is absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t have asked for a better use of acoustic guitar. And the breakdown when he starts singing in a different language was ‘chef’s kiss’. This one was a 10/10. I appreciate that it’s not overdone. Everything from his vocals to the tempo is very well balanced. Definitely in my top 3.

 

Best lyric: Chaudhvin Ka Chand ho Ya Aaftaab Ho / Jo Bhi Ho Tum Khuda Ki Kasam Lajawab Ho

(Are you the full moon of the night or the sun? / Whatever you are, I swear to God, You are beyond compare)

 

“River Road”

I can’t think of a better song to cap the album. I feel like this one fully encompasses the sound that he wants to embody as an artist (if I had to guess). I would’ve killed for a solid high note in this song, but even without it, this is a really good song. The lyrics are also really thought evoking, so maybe he saved what he thought was the best for last…

 

Best lyric: Don’t you ever hope for something else?

 

All in all, I’d say this is a hit or miss album. There are enough songs that I like for me to listen to it again, but I definitely wouldn’t add the whole thing to my music library–just a select few. It is, relatively, an easy listen though. You could probably put it on for a study session and get through it without skipping, but no promises.