This new record from ZAYN is exactly what you would expect from someone titling their tracks as “Vibez” and “Unfuckwitable” and known for former One Direction fame, it is nothing more than run-of-the-mill radio pop now embraced around a nondescript R&B aura.
Admittedly this is not something right up my alley, so it’s no surprise that I absolutely despised it, yet it is still fun to express your unfathomable hostility towards something every once in a while, even if I have never had any previous encounters with ZAYN, nor do I dislike him as a person, or even know anything about him outside of this venture, for that matter. ZAYN has just assembled a record that covers every possible stereotype in the mainstream pop field, purely catering to adolescent girls since that is the only audience that he is able to set his sights on musically, as that is the sole type of listener that wouldn’t be capable of looking past this album’s painfully obvious flaws and the mediocre and more than recycled ideas that it sets forth in an already extraordinarily satured business.
It goes over one of the only two possible routes that it could possibly head in, “Nobody Is Listening” does not take the course of producing overblown and bombastic pop music but it does remain with the overdramatic trendy characteristic, only while leaning towards a much more minimalistic approach in its compositions, as ZAYN is not aiming to completely destroy your ears with obnoxiously loud chorus explosion moments but, on the other hand, he’s striving to bore you to death with the really dull takes he presents on pop music with this strange half fusion into hip hop and R&B.
ZAYN adopts contemporary slang in junction with the crossover he’s trying to provide and only so while displaying a journey at setting his objectives solely on being the most commercially successful he possibly can in such a flagrant way. His songwriting comes off as if he was seeking to mimic someone like Drake or Chris Brown, or really anyone in the R&B or pop rap landscape, and it only goes over in such an unsettling way, only since he seemed to be experimenting with an endeavour that was supposed to be his most private and deep to date, which was put on display by the ambiguous album cover and some of the topics that he presents, yet the vocabulary he sometimes exhibits created an unnecessary awkward juxtaposition.
Objectively, the singing in itself isn’t too faulty apart from a couple falsetto refrains but, eventually, he just ends up falling into the same trap that most mainstream pop singers do, that being that the vocal melodies are quite memorable and encompass nearly every tune, it’s just that the aesthetic and singing styles that are put forward are so characterless that the listening experience in itself becomes pointless, as there is absolutely nothing that stands out while “Nobody Is Listening” is playing.
ZAYN aims to dispose an album that is supposed to be his most private and personal to date, yet the songwriting, in comparison, is extremely surface level in about every way you could potentially look at it and with that, it only leaves the somewhat pretty vocals as the single appeal of the effort and those aren’t even totally reliable for a mere 35 minute countdown.
Absolutely nothing differs all of these tracks in any possible way. The production is consistently basic, ordinary and sometimes close to unexistent and that same formula is constantly repeated throughout its eleven songs, as ZAYN manages to congregate a record that contains completely nothing about it that sticks out in any regard in its entirety, a wholly dreadful experience.
This is already running for the worst of 2021 and the year has just started, hopefully there is not much worthy competition in the future. ZAYN has just created something that is capable of having me eagerly waiting for it to end and yet it’s barely half an hour long.
Favorite tracks: N/A.
Least favorite tracks: Calamity, Better, Outside, Vibez, Connexion, Unfuckwitable, Windowsill, Tightrope and River Road.