Two years after his Critically acclaimed debut album ‘American Teen’, Khalid, released his sophomore album ‘Free Spirit’ last Friday.
After a notably impressive EP released last year and a string of popular collaborations, there has been high anticipation for his new project.
In honour of the release of his full-length sophomore album, Free Spirit, United By Pop has ranked every one of Khalid’s album tracks from our least favourite to our favourite…..
Paradise offers a slightly different side to Khalid however, with an almost dreary and moaning vocal style the song possesses overall contributes to a particularly sporadic sound curating the weakest link on the album.
In most albums, an ‘intro’ is frequently one of the worst or least engaging tracks and on Free Spirit, the trend doesn’t differ. With theatric strings and gentle chords, the track is by no means bad but ultimately skippable.
15. Don’t Pretend (Featuring SAFE)
Whilst sounding like Saturday Nights punchier relative, this track misses the mark as I find that the repetitive beat combined with some of Khalid’s least impressive vocals can’t be saved by Toronto rapper SAFE.
Divulging into a soulful side of his artistry, Bluffin’ oozes a sensual energy fitting for a Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack if there were to be another. The lacklustre track stands out on the album, and not for particularly good reasons.
13. Outta My Head (Featuring John Mayer)
Along with Khalid’s other collaborations within the album, Outta My Head, misses the mark despite its disruptive yet impressive guitar solo. The soft-lit pop track isn’t bad but it could be better.
The Father John Misty penned track offers a pleasant, gospel-tinged slow jam. The piano-led, rock-edged ballad holds a cinematic dreaminess leading to a sombre album highlight.
11. Bad Luck
Whilst not being bad, Bad Luck is essentially a relaxed R and B track which is an easy listen but nothing special.
Alive is a soft bleeding, melancholic track filled with angelic vocals. Khalid pours out emotion as he sings ‘I shouldn’t have to die to feel alive’. This track is one of the first standout tracks in this ranking which leads to the superior material.
9. Free Spirit
Album title track Free Spirit lends a carefree, bright and breezy aura to a heavily influenced pop melody. Whilst starting with a darker edge the track progressively lightens once again drawing in on a cinematic effect.
This Hitboy produced track offers an enjoyable differentiation from the somewhat monotonous overall album sound. Opening up on this track Khalid connects with the listener as he opens up about emotion and loss.
7. My Bad
On My Bad Khalid’s classic sound shines through edgy guitar plucks to create a hip, fresh, funk-infused R and B bop which would seemingly be a successful rhythmic hit.
The lead single provided an accurate insight and succeeded in setting the overall tone for the project. Honing in on Khalid’s signature sound Better is one of the best hits on the album.
5. Saturday Nights
A chilled back acoustic-edged number previously heard on Khalid’s recently released ‘Suncity EP’ remains one of the strongest on this project too. The poignant, emotive storytelling is nicely paired with a simple yet effective melody as he seemingly touches on the simple idea that parents or people around you only know “[what you let ‘em see]”.
As one of the brightest tracks on the album, his dubious lyricism laced over splashy drums infused with minor yeehaw energy curates an upbeat banger perfect for your summer playlists.
3. Twenty One
One of the most impressive offerings from the album is Twenty One. Featuring a grittier vocal cut backed by a boyband-esque melody the punchy, pop-friendly track is catchy and addictive.
2. Right Back
In a funky twist ‘Right Back’ oozes with a cool, chilled vibe enhanced by groovy synths to push the bop worthy chorus. The track has an old-school influence infusing nostalgic good energy to his smooth vocals.
The simple yet effective Disclosure produced Talk offers a perfect imbalance of EDM pop spiked with a techno hit. The bubbly dance track highlights experimentation as Khalid radiates a nonchalant slickness on the best cut from the album.
Following up from his successful debut and a string of striking collaborations, Khalid’s ‘Free Spirit’ provides some interesting and notable hits accompanied by some unfortunate misses for an ultimately respectable sophomore album.
Let us know your favourite tracks from the album over on @unitedbypop