Oh my God, here we go again. This is the first 2021 album I rate and I was going to listen to it with no expectations, but it left me disappointed. With Nobody Is Listening, Zayn shows himself in probably the most boring musical direction that exists in the mainstream. I'm not trying to say there are no solid trap-infused R&B albums, but this album sounds as boring as Justin Bieber's last year LP, Changes, which is the reason why Nobody Is Listening to it.
The former One Direction member Zayn has been a one-hit-wonder for me since the beginning of his solo career, only famous for his breakthrough signature single "Dusk Till Dawn", and this album is not going to change my opinion. It takes the direction that is not necessarily the main flow in the mainstream now, but it exists, and it is quite tricky to work with. Contemporary R&B. While there is a number of artists that have successfully reshaped this genre towards their own specific style, such as The Weeknd, many artists who decide to take this direction get stuck at the crossroads between pop and hip hop, and in quite a lot of cases, this fusion ends up being extremely boring, empty, and without greater ideas.
And the second case, unfortunately, represents Nobody Is Listening. From its beginning to its last track, it sounds like something I have already heard before, and like something I have not really enjoyed listening to. I have already mentioned this album reminds me of Justin Bieber's 2020 record, Changes, which was the pop star's attempt to reinvent towards more adult sound after his marriage and others, but in the end, the album ended up being extremely boring sonically, although it definitely contains important personal messages and great vocal performance. And I would say something really similar if I was describing Zayn's new record, except the thing I did not even like the vocals this time.
It does not mean this album has no bright moments, of course. "Sweat" contains interesting trip hop production, much more experimental than the production at the rest of the album, and the vocals in the track sound powerful too. The album's two closing tracks, "Tightrope" and "River Road" also depart from the album's primary genre towards soft rock music. Compared to other songs of this genre, they are really weak, but at this album, they kind of stand out for its difference. The rest of the album drowns within steady, unchanging contemporary R&B production. In the case of "Connexion", Zayn's vocals sound extremely disturbing, and it is a song I do not want to hear again. The first two tracks, especially the album's opening track "Calamity", are a calamity. I understand the idea behind the first track which is supposed to serve as an intro, but it grandiosely failed.
The only thing I was happy about at this album was that it has only 11 tracks and it was finally over. If it had more tracks, I would probably die of boredom and delivery of weird vocals. Because of that, listening to it felt like "only" 6 hours, not 6 days. I may return to listen to "Sweat", but I do not want to hear the rest of this album anymore.
- Calamity (3/10)
- Better (4/10)
- Outside (5/10)
- Vibez (5/10)
- When Love's Around (5/10)
- Connexion (3/10)
- Sweat (7/10)
- Unfuckwitable (4/10)
- Windowsill (5/10)
- Tightrope (6/10)
- River Road (6/10)
TOTAL RATING: 46 / 100 (unaesthetic)