Khalid

“Free Spirit,” Khalid’s third album, was released on April 5 to the much anticipation of his fans. Known for songs such as “Better,” “Young Dumb & Broke” and “Talk,” Khalid’s discography is full of catchy songs and Billboard hits.

And while some of his most popular songs have been ones where he’s featured on another’s track -- such as Benny Blanco’s “Eastside,” Billie Eilish’s “lovely” and Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” -- this album really shows how well Khalid can stand on his own. It shows a true development from his other two albums while still keeping to the sound that Khalid has made his own.

“Free Spirit” perfectly encapsulates why Khalid fans are so dedicated to his music -- it’s a down-to-earth perspective with a nice mixture of easy listening beats and refreshing sound. After only a few listens, “Hundred,” “Paradise” and “Saturday Nights” are some of my favorites. “Right Back” is also pretty good -- it reflects some of my favorite aspects of Khalid’s sound.

In “Hundred,” Khalid reflects on his busy life and some of the anxiety that can come with it. He sings, “Cause the world keeps spinning, the sun won't shine on my face / (No, I won't give up, no, I won't give in) / I'ma keep it moving, got a hundred things I gotta do today.” The chorus especially has a great sound -- it’s one of the faster songs, which makes sense as that’s just how Khalid is going through his days.

The latter part of the album slows down a bit as he reflects on his life and the people in it. “Hundred days and I'm still alive,” Khalid says in the song, “Got a hundred friends, but I'll cut ‘em off, I don’t need ‘em / Not like any of them gave a f**k if I was breathing.” With the busy sound of the song and lyrics, it ends in a certain sadness that feels empty and hopeless. Despite being one of the more upbeat songs, it’s also one of the saddest.

Although, with 17 tracks total, some of the tracks do start to blur together. There are some great tracks but a few mediocre ones as well -- “Bluffin’” and “Heaven” come to mind. This is probably because they have similar soft openings and low sound; the second half of the album seems to suffer from this the most. While the songs are still good in their own ways, compared to the rest of the album, I wasn’t very impressed with them.

“Free Spirit,” the track the album is named after, is a clear favorite of mine. I love the guitar strumming at the beginning that continues throughout the song and supports the other instruments that come in and out. This track also really showcases Khalid’s vocals in the best way possible -- it’s soft and a bit slower than some of the other tracks, but it’s obvious why the album was named after it.

This track highlights all the best things about a Khalid track -- fresh sound and a story painted through the lyrics that gets caught in your head. I could listen to his song on repeat for days -- and considering I’ve added it to all my favorite playlists, I may just.

This album is perfectly timed in its release. It’s the kind of album you play in the car with the windows rolled down, the summer air warming your face. From the warm colored cover art and carefree lyrics, this album’s aesthetic is one that has me longing for hotter days and sundresses. With this album on repeat, this summer is sure to be a good one.

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.

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