Exactly one year after quitting One Direction, Zayn Malik has released his first solo album, Mind of Mine. After being recognized as a member of the world’s biggest, bubblegum-pop boyband, Zayn now has a desire to be taken seriously. He’s singing about sex, heartbreak, and personal growth over a much more mature sound.
The Zquad, Directioners and fresh fans are beside themselves, desperate to hear what Zayn has to offer as a solo artist. So, does Mind of Mine live up to the hype? Here’s a list of Mind of Mine songs ranked from worst to first (excluding the intro)…
After a few good listens to Mind of Mine, we couldn’t help but snooze throughout track 15. The dull and worst track of the album, Blue finds Zayn crooning about a certain lady’s “loving” and “touching” that he craves. James “Malay” Ho’s (a producer best known for working with Frank Ocean) work is very present here. In fact, Zayn’s style of singing and the track as a whole sounds like a knock-off Frank Ocean song.
Thank goodness these tracks came towards the end of the album because it was almost becoming difficult to listen to. You begin enjoying the groovy beat, but Bright soon becomes bland and monotonous. Where’s the “next” button?
15. She Don’t Love Me
She Don’t Love Me isn’t bad; it just fails to stand out against other, better contending hits on the album. “I think I know she don’t love me, that’s why I fuck around.” We’d love to know who Zayn is singing about in this pop/R&B number…
14. It’s You
There’s no doubt about it. Zayn slays (or shall we say “zlays”?) with the falsettos in his second-released single, It’s You. Despite his impressive range, we hate to admit that this dark and dreamy record often comes across as dull, moody and tedious. Simply put, it’s a snooze-fest.
The Frank Ocean vibe is all over this low-tempo number. We assume Zayn is addressing his experience as an ex-member of One Direction in the lyrics to Truth. Much like he admitted in an interview with Fader, Zayn confesses that he wasn’t happy in the boyband – “This ain’t my scene / This wasn’t my dream / I got caught up in this game” he sings. Ouch!
12. Rear View
Is Zayn singing about his ex-fiance, Perrie Edwards in Rear View? Zayn is heard saying, “Don’t wait I’m not coming home tonight / I want to love you but I can’t” in the mid-tempo, R&B track. This one’s listenable but rather forgettable, especially when you’ve got more stronger hits on the album…
Zayn’s gone from singing about the story of his life to singing about getting high. Now that’s what you call a transition. Mothers worldwide might want to give Lucozade a listen-to before letting their teenage kids add it to their playlists. Lucozade is indeed cool and funky, but Zayn’s voice is somewhat monotonous in this one.
There are moments in Boarderz that invite comparisons to Justin Timberlake. And no, we’re not just comparing Zayn to Justin because they both came from boybands. The similarities are obvious. The cool and edgy anthem is certainly one to chill to.
9. Intermission – Flower
The next 9 tracks definitely deserve a spot on your playlists. In 9th place is the serene interlude, Flower. Zayn is unrecognizable as he sings in Urdu over an acoustic guitar. It’s distinctive, quite stunning and a far-cry from Zayn’s usual sound. We want to hear more of this.
8. Like I Would
Like I Would starts off sounding like a One Direction song but it soon takes a funky turn and transitions into a Bruno Mars-esque tune. Zayn sounds like he’s having fun in this dance number, which is a breath of fresh air as compared to the more boring tracks we ranked earlier. If there’s ever a music video to this, we want to see Zayn bust a few groovy moves!
7. Fool For You
We wouldn’t be surprised if Fool For You becomes a fan-favorite amongst the Zquad. Why? Because it’s the only track that bears resemblance to One Direction’s music. This ballad is great. Zayn sounds very confident, vocally. If at times you miss the “1D Zayn”, listen to this. It’s definitely a keeper.
Zayn couldn’t have made a better choice when he picked Befour as his third single. We love it. The heartthrob’s smooth vocals reign over a funky and infectious beat. There’s no denying that Befour is reminiscent of a Miguel hit – mature, cool and slick. Oh, and let’s not forget that super-amazing high note that Zayn drops towards the end. We’re sure a lot of fans are screaming right now…
5. Take It Off
Zayn ramps up the sex-talk in the upbeat and highly favorable, Take It Off. The Justin Timberlake/The Weeknd-inspired track hears the singer talk dirty with lyrics such as “I just want to watch you when you take it off… Push me up against the wall, don’t take it easy/ You make it hard like me.” We suppose this late-night R&B record is dedicated to his girlfriend, Gigi Hadid…
Speaking of girlfriends, or shall we say, ex-girlfriends, Zayn brings up his previous relationship with Perrie Edwards in She.“She’s crying out that she loves me, holding my hand so I won’t leave/ Cause ‘baby I don’t want to be lonely / she wants somebody to love in the right way.”, Zayn sings in the head-bopping, R&B track. She is certainly one of the faves. Nice job, Zayn!
3. Wrong – featuring Kehlani
“I’ll get her wetter than ever / She likes when I’m messy / And I like when she’s undressing” – Zayn definitely wanted his debut album played in the bedroom! In Wrong, the popstar collaborates with R&B female vocalist, Kehlani. It’s safe to say their voices blend perfectly together over the R&B, Weeknd-styled beat. This is a certified banger…
Yet another sensually-driven track has captured our hearts. Drunk is incredible, ladies and gents. This is where Zayn absolutely smashes it. His vocals are truly impeccable in the chilled R&B hit that almost sounds like a sequel to Chris Brown’s Don’t Judge Me. If only Mind of Mine included more songs like this…
There’s no comparison when it comes to Pillowtalk. It is undoubtedly the best song on the album; and not because it’s the only track we’re most familiar with, but because it sincerely is a masterpiece. In fact, this smooth and sexy song is still on repeat, 3 months later…
Mind of Mine is certainly an impressive album but it’s flawed by a few of the weaker choices throughout. If we were to judge it based on the best 9 tracks ranked on our list, we’d say kudos to Zayn, he’s definitely headed in the right Direction…