Mind of Mine

Mind of Mine



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After Zayn Malik left One Direction to strike out on his own, he didn't rush out a record to take advantage of his fame; he took his time getting his sound together. His first solo record, Mind of Mine, was carefully crafted over a long period with the invaluable help of Frank Ocean collaborator Malay and goes for a much more adult, modern R&B feel than anything he'd done with One D. Most of the album revolves around sex, drugs, and sex while doing drugs -- pretty typical pursuits for a wealthy guy in his early twenties, especially one feeling his freedom for the first time. The sound of the album is rich and layered with synths, rubbery basslines, and occasional electric guitars, not too far from the sound of Miguel or the Weeknd. Like them, he digs deeply into slow, sensual ballads and basically buries himself there like it was a big, fluffy blanket perfect for a midnight rendezvous. Songs like "dRuNk" and "SHe" hit the sweet spot between romantic and debauched; others like "PILLOWTALK" tip toward the latter. While most of the album sticks close to lights-low, make-out territory, there are a few outliers, like the tender piano ballad "fOol fOr YoU," which comes closest to the wholesome boy band sound he was so desperate to break free of. It's a pretty good version of that sound, though. A couple tracks break free of the ballad haze and bump the energy level up a little: "BeFoUr" is a nice midtempo disco-influenced track that sounds like something Justin Timberlake might have done at one point; "lUcOzAdE" is a gently bouncing track with an on-point synth game. While the songs are mostly strong and it all sounds very slick and state of the art, the highlight is Zayn's voice. After Harry's hair, his vocals were arguably the best thing about his former band and it's a treat to hear him on his own, with nobody else hogging the spotlight. His soaring falsetto on "iT's YoU" is breathtaking, the insistent approach of the more intense songs like "PILLOWTALK" is a welcome development, and the brief snippet of him singing beautifully in Urdu on "INTERMISSION: fLoWer" is a lovely nod to his background. His vocal skills help pave over the (rare) moments when the lyrics seem a bit juvenile or the sound feels a little too familiar, and help make Mind of Mine an impressive debut. It's music he couldn't have made with One Direction and while it may not be breaking any new ground, it's new for him and he's talented enough to make that interesting for anyone who likes well-made pop music.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/25/2016
Label: Rca
UPC: 0889853079025
catalogNumber: 530790
Rank: 175849

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Zayn Malik   Primary Artist
James Griffin   Keyboards
Louise Dearsley   Cello
Harold Lilly   Background Vocals
Sarah Button   Violin
Reiad Chibah   Violin
Rachel Golub   Violin
Katie Kresek   Violin
Malay   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Triangle
Dave Eggar   Cello
Carty   Bass Guitar
Kevin Rains   Keyboards
Alan Sampson   Bass,Piano,Drums
Joe Garrett   Guitar
Michael Hannides   Bass,Piano,Drums,Background Vocals
Anthony Hannides   Background Vocals
Chuck Palmer   Conductor
Brian London   Piano
Levi Lennox   Piano
James Emerson   Guitar,Keyboards
Chase Wells   Guitar,Keyboards
Salvador Waviest   Guitar,Keyboards
Makeyouknowlove   Vocals
Katherine Chibah   Viola

Technical Credits

James Griffin   Composer,Programming
Jason Goldstein   Engineer
Steve Mandel   Engineer
Steve Wright   String Arrangements
Harold Lilly   Composer
Malay   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Dave Eggar   Orchestration,String Arrangements
James Ho   Composer
Kevin Rains   Composer,Programming
Liam Nolan   Engineer
Alan Sampson   Composer,Producer,Instrumentation
Ray Angry   Instrumentation
Terrence Smith   Composer
Michael Hannides   Composer
Anthony Hannides   Composer
Sean Kellett   Engineer
Zayn Malik   Composer,Executive Producer
Paul Norris   Engineer
Chuck Palmer   Orchestration,String Arrangements
Daniel Zaidenstadt   Engineer
David Phelan   Engineer
Zeke Mishanec   Engineer
Chris Berdine   Art Direction
Henrique Andrade   Engineer
Levi Lennox   Composer,Producer
Herbie Crichlow   Composer
Kehlani Parrish   Composer
James Emerson   Composer,Programming,Engineer
Chase Wells   Composer,Programming
Salvador Waviest   Composer,Programming
Makeyouknowlove   Producer

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