Music

album review | Free Spirit by Khalid

Well, well, well. Khalid has gone and done it again. I first discovered Khalid in 2016 when his song Location was recommended for me to add to a playlist and I absolutely fell in love. His voice really reminded me of the R&B singers that I love such as Usher, Frank Ocean and The Weeknd. He’s been one of my favourite artists ever since and I freaking love everything he drops.

Album Overview

Free Spirit has a total time of 57 minutes which is a super good time. I would happily jam out with this album on for a good hour. It has a total of seventeen songs, two of them containing features. I think that two out of seventeen songs containing other artists is pretty good. I’m not a huge fan of albums with too many featuring artists just because when I am going through an album I like to just listen to that artist so that’s just me aha. Most of the tracks are in Khalid’s signature R&B style but he also throws us a few curveballs by dipping in and out of other genres. Overall, I love this album and I think it was the perfect follow up to the SunCity EP. Now let’s get into the juicy bits.

Intro

I will say that I’m not the biggest fan of intro, interlude or outro tracks. They just seem like a waste of time for me personally. However, I think that this intro really sets the tone for Free Spirit and it’s a pretty beautiful song to start on. Khalid’s vocals are on point, the beat is amazing and it overall is just a brilliant song. The lyrics are really pretty too.

Bad Luck

Instantly this album has a much more melancholic vibe to it than his previous realises have and y’know what? I’m not mad at it. Once again, he kills it on the vocals – it’s that silky smoothness that he has to his voice that really drags me into his music. What I love about this song is that it’s the kinda song you play in the car with your hand doing that flowy thing out of the window on a warm day.

My Bad

My Bad was released as a single just before the whole album dropped and I kinda knew from this song that I was going to love the album. This song, like many others from Khalid, makes me think summer instantly. The song is based around complications in communication between a couple and I feel like we can all kinda relate to that. Khalid is really good at creating songs that everyone who listens to it can relate in some way and I love that in an artist. Also, the beat on this song is just melodic – obsessed.

Better

One word for this song – obsessed. Better was released in September of last year and it’s a song that’s I’ve had on loop for the last seven months. For me, it reminded me a lot of The Weeknd and I love that. It’s sexy, silky and a favourite of mine. As soon as the beat kicks in that’s me gone, I’m hypnotized by that baritenor range. He’s not wrong when he says nothing feels better than this. This song is my favourite on the whole album and also one of my favourite Khalid songs altogether.

Talk ft Disclosure

Khalid follows one bop with another when it comes to Talk. This song has a really light, playful vibe to it and it’s a shoulder mover, y’know? This is one of his three features with Disclosure producing the track. It’s another one of those songs that is a seductive kinda summery bop. Khalid’s signature charm is very abundant on this track.

Right Back

When I first heard this I was immediately bopping back and forth. The beat to this song is so infectious and you really can’t help but have a little dance when it comes on. It’s a little more upbeat than some of the other stuff on Free Spirit but I’m not mad at a lil’ bit of variation. I definitely think that this will be another song for the summer.

Don’t Pretend ft SAFE

This is another grower for me. I’m still not completely convinced that I like it loads but I don’t hate it either which is a plus. It is a really pretty song in all fairness and the beat is kinda infectious. Like after a few listens I’m sat there swaying to the beat.

Paradise

Y’all. He did not have to do us like this. This is one of the first slower songs and though I do prefer his faster stuff – I love this. It has got a raunchy lil’ vibe to it which matches his vocals so so well. It truly is a match made in Paradise. I wasn’t expecting it to be one of my favourites off the album but it absolutely is.

Hundred

Here we go. Khalid has been on a good run so far with Free Spirit but here is my skipping song. I don’t know what it is about this song that I don’t like but there’s just something about it. I can see it being an obvious choice for the charts when the sun starts coming out because again it’s got that summer vibe which Khalid is so good at exuding. Give it a listen anyway because you might absolutely love it.

Outta My Head ft John Mayer

Now I can’t lie, I was not expecting to see a John Mayer feature on this album. I’m really really not a fan of this song and I can’t put my finger on why. It’s just not for me and that’s okay. Khalid is the kinda artist that I prefer when they have no features just because he’s so good that other people ruin it a little. I know that sounds so harsh but it’s just my honest opinion.

Free Spirit

This title track is such a perfect way to sorta bundle up all of the things that the album talks about. I read somewhere that Khalid only wrote this song when all of the other songs were done and I really think that is what helps this song be such a good summary of the whole album. The lyrics in this are so gorgeous and cohesive with the overall theme of the album. I love that this album really tells a story and gives off a vibe. It’s one of the reasons I’m obsessed with it.

Twenty One

This is Free Spirit’s certified grower song. At first, I skipped pretty quickly and I wasn’t too willing to give the song a go. Then I thought I’d give it a fair listening to and it grew on me. The more I play it, the more I love it. It really sums up what life is like for most twenty-one-year-olds. Well, other than myself who is an old woman in a twenty-somethings body.

Bluffin’

For me, Bluffin’ sounds like it’s right out of the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. It’s got a sexy sounding beat, Khalid’s seductive vocals and lyrics that base around making up after a breakup. It’s got all the characteristics. I won’t fib to you, it’s not my favourite song on the album but that’s not to say I don’t like it because I really do. I just prefer Khalid’s faster songs!

Self

Right off the bat, I love the beat behind this. Hit-Boy smashed it out of the park on this one. It’s got the kinda beat where you know who the artist is by it without them even singing. I feel like Khalid shows off his lower tones in this song and I am 100% here for it. While I love all of Khalid’s lyrics, I feel like Self is a lot more personal than some of the other songs on this album. He talks about his masculinity, emotions and feelings. It’s really nice to see him opening up on this song.

Alive

This song hit me right in my feels. The lyrics are absolutely beautiful and once again, his vocals add to the perfection that is this song. I love songs that have little quotes that I can use in them and the one I love from this song, in particular, is “I shouldn’t have to die to feel alive”. It’s a pretty melancholy song but it just sounds so freaking perfect. As cringy as it might sound it gives a certified eargasm.

Heaven

The start of this song reminded me of how Lana Del Rey songs sometimes start and I live for it. This is much more of a slow, ballad type of song. I think that Khalid does a brilliant job of showing his versatility within genres on this album and that comes across really strong in this song. The lyrics are beautiful and everything meshes together so well. It’s probably not one that I’d have on repeat like Better and Talk but it’s not one I’d skip every time either so it’s a happy medium.

Saturday Nights

Saturday Nights has to be one of Khalid’s best songs that he’s ever recorded. It’s another signature summer kinda song. I know that I’ve said that about a thousand times throughout this post but that’s because it’s a vibe which Khalid is super good at getting across. Khalid said himself in his Genius interview about this song that he didn’t want to end the album with a sombre song like this but I really think it’s the perfect ending. It ties up the theme that runs in the album. Them summer romances that don’t go how we expected them to but ultimately lead to personal growth.

Overall, I am literally in l o v e with Khalid’s new album and I’ll be listening to it well into summer. There is bop after bop. Although there were a few songs that kinda flopped to me, I’m really not mad at it because I’ve never listened to an album I love all the way through. Khalid is an artist that I’m loving at the moment. It’s nice to see him growing and moulding himself while writing about his experiences as he goes along.

♡ Have you listened to Khalid’s album Free Spirit yet? If so, what song did you enjoy from it?

“I try to take all of my experiences in and not take anything for granted” – Khalid.

Until next time,

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  1. I love Khalid’s music too! Better is a song that I have blared through my car stereo many times haha xx

    https://paulamarieee.blogspot.com

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