Written By: Melanie Pabst
Originality: (4 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (4 / 5) Lyrics: (4 / 5) Production: (4 / 5) Average: (4 / 5)
When I first heard Khalid’s voice, I got chills up my arms. He has one of those voices that just resonates with you. It’s deep and harmonious and a pleasure to listen too. I first heard him featured on another artists song, “Electric” by Alina Baraz. His part in that song was so beautiful, paired with the electric beat, that I couldn’t help but listen to it on repeat for weeks. His soulful voice had me captivated and I wanted to hear more from him. So, I checked out some of his own music, to see if he was an artist I’d be able to vibe too. And when I saw that he had just dropped his first album, American Teen, I was stoked and ready to let his voice encompass my surroundings.
“Location,” is a take a drive and just vibe out song. With Khalid’s smooth and sultry voice, paired with an unmistakable beat, it’s no wonder it was his breakthrough hit off the album. “Location” isn’t the only jam on this record. The 19-year old’s first album is a collection of youth, love and loneliness. It’s a set of tracks that give you some insight into Khalid’s youth and how those experiences have shaped him and his sound as an artist. His youth and teen angst can be seen in upbeat tracks like “18TEEN” and “American Teen.” “Let’s Go” is another song on the album that expresses teen recklessness. These tracks remind us that he’s just 19, only having graduated from high school last year. Khalid has become an artist on the rise relatively quickly over the last year as American Teen has continued to climb on the charts.
Khalid is young and still developing as a singer-songwriter. Some of his songs lean more toward the younger crowd. Such as tracks like “Young, Dumb, & Broke,” which didn’t really do it for me, but I can see how some of the younger teens would jam out to it. Another one of my least favorite songs on the album is “Hopeless,” which just isn’t exciting enough, that’s the best way to describe it. There’s not much that stands out on this one. However, following tracks like that with a slightly darker and jazzy-electric sounding track like “Cold-Blooded” makes up for it entirely.
Khalid also shows that he’s more than just an American Teen, with tracks like “Coaster,” showcasing the true talent that Khalid is, with his smooth voice and beautiful, relatable lyrical writing. You’ll be listening to this one for a while. I promise. “Therapy” is another one of my personal favorites. This song is smooth and describes that young, addictive love. This one has an old-school R&B sound that I really dig. I jam out to this one in my car far too often. To think that Khalid is just getting started makes me look forward to his progression as an artist. His ascent up the charts won’t be a surprise to me. With his bold voice and ever-improving songwriting talent, Khalid’s going to take the music world by storm!