Zayn Malik released his first album, Mind of Mine, on March 25. The majority of reviewers seem to agree that it is more adult in lyrical content and more musically sophisticated than anything he did while with One Direction. There are numerous references to sex, drinking, and other adult behaviors on the new album, as well as a few F-bombs in the lyrics. Still, Mind of Mine has a mellow R&B sound. Zayn’s smooth-as-silk voice is sweet, somewhat pensive, and melodic throughout the album.
Mind of Mine is doing very well worldwide. This hot new album is currently ranking at the top of the charts in more than 70 countries.
Cant get my head round it !!! You lot are the ???????? https://t.co/ak5JVIHRRj
— zayn (@zaynmalik) March 25, 2016
The Zayn Malik album is being recognized by various publications as very deliberately different than the music of One Direction. The New Yorker quoted Malik as he spoke about his inspiration to write more adult and complex music. His reason is one in the same as his reason for leaving One Direction.
“Would you listen to One Direction at a party with your girl? I wouldn’t. If I was sat at a dinner date with a girl, I would play some cool s**t, you know what I mean?”
Zayn Malik received four stars from reviewers at the Guardian and three stars from Rolling Stone, according to the Telegraph.
Most Mind of Mine reviews are favorable. The New York Times was especially generous in its appreciation for the song “Flower.” This love song stands apart from the rest of the album, according to that reviewer, and it is sung in Urda, a Pakistani dialect, spoken by Malik’s father. That makes it unique, but it also shows a more advanced level of musical sophistication.
Zayn Malik created Mind of Mine to set his own music apart from One Direction. The album was intended to set a gentle romantic mood for young adults in romantic situations. The New Yorker review was generally positive, but at one point, the reviewer stated that the album was almost an overcompensation by Malik after being restricted to singing music suitable for preteens. That sentiment was echoed by the Guardian.
“The lasting impression of Mind of Mine, however, is of someone finally making the music they’ve wanted to make for a long time.”
The New York Times also recognized Malik’s desire to express something he was forced to repress.
“Mind of Mine shows a singer eager to reclaim the parts of himself that five years in the pop klieg lights forced into the shadows.”
The Rolling Stone review was somewhat mixed, as they preferred some songs over others. They did recognize the album for its diversity of styles.
“Malik’s move into deep, freaky R&B is immersive, even if his DNA is still catchy, accessible pop, as proven by clubby successes ‘Tio,’ ‘Like I Would’ and ‘Pillowtalk.’ He stumbles with tepid ballads like ‘It’s You’ and ‘Blue,’ but the record is saved by its more experimental moments – specifically, the warm, neo-soul track ‘Truth’ and hypnotic Persian-infused intermission ‘Flower.'”
Zayn Malik received high praises from some publications. Digital spy was among the most complimentary of the reviews.
“There’s more killer here than filler. From the chilled R&B of Drunk to the minimalism of Wrong, most of the record is layered with textures of electronics and guitars which give it a rich atmosphere throughout. It’s incredibly accomplished…”
Unfortunately, Zayn Malik, even when he is on top of the charts, still can’t please everyone. While some fans are just loving the album, others are finding the lyrics infuriating, according to the Mirror. Most of the shock and controversy center around a line in the song “She Don’t Love Me.”
“I think I know she don’t love me
That’s why I f**k around”
Many Zayn Malik fans are assuming that “she” refers to Perrie Edwards, Zayn’s ex-girlfriend. The pair dated for four years before they split up. Allegedly, Perrie thought Zayn was cheating, but Malik denied it. Some fans on Twitter are taking the song to be a literal admission of guilt.
YA GIRL IS IN THE DAILY MAIL pic.twitter.com/gquczrBn4H
— ella (@smoltolsquad) March 26, 2016
Zayn Malik wrote Mind of Mine to showcase his musical talents. No one knows if he was thinking of Perrie at all when writing “She Don’t Love Me.” It may be fun for fans to speculate, but there is no indication from Zayn that any song on the album is an explanation of his break up with Perrie Edwards.
The Zayn Malik album Mind of Mine has been released and is now available for purchase.
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]