So, this has been my first proper listen to Khalid’s music and you know what? It’s not bad. Free Spirit has been an interesting listen albeit some few issues here and there. I could as well call it my personal favorite chill album of the year. Then again, there are some issues that need to be addressed.
Free Spirit is a 17-track RnB album. Is it really an RnB album? Not so sure but we’ll get to this later on. Anyway, this is a follow up to his debut album American Teen which was released in 2017. Khalid is now 21 years old and things seem to be looking up for him for the most part.
There are two truths that you will realize when you listen to this album; One, the album’s production is great; and two, it is a long album. By the way, the production is the highlight of the record. I enjoyed the chill vibes the songs gave me. These are the kind of songs you should be listening to when you are busy getting things done.
Even with the great production, we need to address the elephant in the room; its length. 17 tracks isn’t that long compared to what Drake and Migos fed me last year but I can’t help but feel that it is too long. If it were up to me, I would only pick nine songs at best. Anything beyond that feels like a drag. Here’s the funniest part, it matters not the order in which you listen to the tracks; you will just feel bored after the ninth track.
It’s a shame really because I can’t say that the songs are bad, it’s just that they shouldn’t be all included in one album. If only it was shorter…oh well.
At this point, I usually tell you what the album’s general vibe is all about but I really don’t know what to say about this one. You are getting a little of everything here from introspection (Self), some RnB songs (Better,Talk, Bad Luck) and talking about life and stuff (Hundred, Twenty One, Alive). What’s worse is that there aren’t any stand out tracks in the album. They are just okay. It’s a mess really.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I certainly don’t expect him to be producing albums like this one in the near future. We can speculate about why Free Spirit is such a mess: he is yet to find a niche; the album is a statement to how he is feeling right now at the age of 21; and that he is paying the price of commercial success. Whatever the reason is, it doesn’t bother me as much as the album length.
I sure did enjoy the album after a couple of listens. My only gripe is that it is too long. As for it being a hot mess, I don’t mind it really. Besides, his career has just begun; I’m sure he’ll progress his music further. I give it a 7/10.
- Outta My Head