CD Review // Khalid
Khalid’s debut LP, American Teen, is made for road trips to the beach.
There is nothing mind-blowing here, but American Teen features enough feel-good songs to keep on a summer playlist. The album has many strong qualities, especially for a debut from a young artist. Khalid’s voice is as smooth as quiet ocean waves and he knows it. He has the dry, almost deadpan, delivery of James Blake, while still maintaining an original quality. Kahlid’s best attribute is his knack for catchy hooks. The young pop singer is consciously aware of which melodies will stick in the listener’s ear.
American Teen is an album that is very much directed towards alternative teenagers in 2017. It’s a prime example of where major record labels think America’s youth is stationed musically. While the album is heartening when looked at through a youthful scope, it unfortunately alienates any wider audience. As a teenager while writing the album, Khalid understandably writes about his own experiences in high school or being in love with the girl in class, he perfectly targets his audience. However, his songwriting, choice of production, and singing ability is strong enough to reach beyond those that he is directly singing to, making him a songwriting force to be reckoned with as his writing matures.