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Review – ZAYN’s new album ‘Icarus Falls’ gives contemporary take on archaic love songs

Katie Johnson, Reporter

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Zayn Malik released his highly anticipated sophomore album “Icarus Falls” Dec. 14. The 27-track album is one hour and 27 minutes long. The album is worth a listen and already has critics talking about his lyrics and unique voice. ‘Icarus Falls’ showcases Malik’s incredible vocal range and shows him maturing as an artist.

Solo Albums take Malik in a ‘Different’ Direction

Malik is an artist to watch for in 2019 as he brings something fresh to the music industry. “Icarus Falls” is a rollercoaster of tempo, and leaves listeners wanting more. Whatever Malik did on this album, clearly works, and his unique sound makes ‘Icarus Falls’ a diverse anthology of songs.

RCA Records
‘Icarus Falls’ which was released Dec. 14, already has critics talking. Malik’s signature falsetto and thought-provoking lyrics show how he has matured as an artist. The album could easily be the best album of 2018.

His first album, ‘Mind of Mine‘, released in 2016, was critically acclaimed for its entrancing melodies and harmonies. The album came out a year after his departure from ‘One Direction‘ and debuted at number one in the U.S and U.K, making him the first British male artist to debut with a number one single and album in the U.S and U.K.

The album starts off with ‘Let Me’ the first single, released April 12. The song features a soft beat mixed with experimental vocal harmonies, a great way to kick off the album.

‘Natural’ follows with a similar beat and more harmonies accompanied by Malik’s signature falsetto. ‘Back to Life’ slows down the record, but keeps the same beat. The lyrics of the song are beautiful, and Malik’s vocals add another element to the song.

‘Common’ switches up the beat and melody of the song, and shows off his impressive range. A note to listeners, however, the song is one of the few explicit songs accompanied on the album.

‘Imprint’ follows, and changes up the pace of the album. The song has a lulling melody to it, and the vocals build off of it.

‘Stand Still’ both slows down the album and speeds it up. The harmonies of the song really grab the listener and leave them wanting more. The electric guitar in the background is different for the style of song and puts a fresh twist on pop music.

Malik’s harmonies at the beginning of ‘Tonight’ grab the listener’s attention right off the bat and build up into the catchy chorus. The song’s rhythm feels like driving down a highway late at night without a care in the world.

‘Flight of the Stars’ shares a similar tempo and helps pace the album. The lyrics are well-written and take the listener into the mind of Malik and how he feels about relationships.

‘If I Got You’ starts out with idiosyncratic harmonies and builds up into an energetic unique sound.

‘Talk to Me’ also is another song which starts off slow and builds up into an upbeat song. The lyrics are catchy, and the tune is a light-hearted beat that is easy to dance to.

‘There You Are’ could arguably be one of the best songs on the album. It really showcases Malik’s talents for song-writing and singing. The song immediately offers a twist of tempo and highlight Malik’s talents. ‘There You Are’ is a powerful song, and drives home just how talented he is. His vocals in the song sound like smooth honey while still being powerful. If a person could only listen to one song from the record, it should be this song.

‘I Don’t Mind’ slows the record back down and features more of Malik’s dreamy falsetto. The lyrics are a bit repetitive, but they have listeners singing along by the end of the song.

‘Icarus Interlude’ starts out with a mellow beat, comparable to elevator music, but progresses into a beautiful song that shows off more of Malik’s falsetto.

‘Good Guy’ has an old school guitar riff at the beginning, but gradually builds up into something more throughout the song like a plot twist.

‘You Wish You Knew’ is an upbeat song with catchy lyrics and a great sound. However, it is one of the few explicit songs on the album.

‘Sour Diesel’, the third single released, July 18 is an up-beat song with some syncopated bass and electric guitar riffs accompanied by Malik’s falsetto. This song is one of the best on the album and definitely worth a listen.

The drum beat in ‘Satisfaction’ grabs the listeners at the start, and the piano and choir accompaniment add more depth to the song. The mellow harmonies and smooth piano also add something, making this song more special.

‘Scripted’ is another song which has a strong piano backing, and the dreamy guitar and bass make the song unique. ‘Scripted’ is definitely not a song to skip on the album. The lyrics sound like an ode to the music industry and how scripted everything a public figure says. The song sounds like a fresh take on classic love-songs.

‘Entertainer.’ the second single released May 23, is one of the other explicit songs on the album and overall has gorgeous harmonies throughout the song.

‘All That’ is another song that has something special about it. Everything about the song is unique and Malik seems to create his own sub-genre of music throughout ‘Icarus Falls’.

Boyband: Behind the Scenes

‘Good Years’ dives deep into the struggles Malik had with the rest of One Direction. This work is thought to be an ode to Malik’s time in 1D as well as what went on behind the scenes. The emotional piano ballad talks about how drugs and alcohol tore the boys apart and clouded their judgment. Fans speculate the song to be about his Twitter feud with fellow bandmate, Louis Tomlinson, back in 2015. The lyrics talk about Malik wishing someone would apologize, but neither party will because they’re “too young and too dumb.”

‘Fresh Air,’ another explicit track, has mesmerizing harmonies from the beginning and hooks listeners.

‘Rainberry’ switches up the tempo of the album and changes the beat completely. The song’s funky guitar and synthesizers, along with Malik’s falsetto, produce a new sound to the album. The catchy lyrics are also easy-to-learn and have listeners singing along by the second chorus. Whatever Malik is doing, clearly works.

‘Insomnia’ is another song filled with riveting melodies. The lyrics dive deep into Malik’s broken heart and sound like his bleeding heart is on a platter for people to scrutinize. ‘Insomnia’ offers a fresh take on breakup songs.

‘No Candle No Light (ft. Nicki Minaj,)’ the last single, was released Oct. 16 and is a collaboration well-done. Both Malik and Minaj add to each other’s voices and build up into a masterpiece. The fast-paced tempo adds to the brilliance of the song and helps make it into a distinct sound.

‘Fingers,’ the fifth single released Oct. 18 is another explicit song on the record and slows down the album. The experimental guitar riffs and beat add to the brilliant lyrics. This song helps show how different a sound Malik has from other artists.

The last song on the album, ‘Too Much (ft. Timbaland) was the fourth single released Aug. 2 and is also the last explicit track. The song is a great and powerful way to end off the album. The end of the song leaves listeners wanting more.

‘Icarus Falls’ as an entire album grabs the listener and transports them to a whole new world. The album is refreshing to hear in this new era of music and is different from other popular albums in the industry. ‘Icarus Falls’ could definitely be considered one of the best albums of the decade. The album is not one to be missed out on and definitely deserves a listen.

About the Writer
Katie Johnson, Reporter

Sophomore Katie Johnson grew up in San Diego, Calif., She moved to Texas in 2011 and moved to Prosper in 2015. Other than the newspaper, Johnson participates...

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