I will admit, there was a very small part of me that wanted to be salty and dislike Zayn‘s first post One Direction single. However, I knew that was most likely not going to be the case unless the song turned into an unmitigated disaster. The side of me that loves Zayn and wants nothing but success for him as an artist would win out. When I heard “Pillowtalk” for the first time I instantly knew I would be a fan of his solo work. You all know I couldn’t resist my chance to share my thoughts.
“Pillowtalk” is described by Zayn himself as raw and dirty. Take one listen and those adjectives are embedded in every aspect of the song from overall sound to the lyrics. I have a pretty big feeling “Pillowtalk” will be heavily in rotation on bedroom playlists across the globe. Trojan should just start writing their thank you card to Mr. Malik right about now for their massive spike in sales.
There is the right amount of distance in “Pillowtalk” from Zayn’s boyband pop roots, but it is still in the realm of Top 40 tunes. It blends the pop and r & b production values that are at the height of the charts currently. This straddling of worlds is key for fans new and old to enjoy Zayn’s r & b venture. The dropping of his last name helps add to the broody vibes as well, even if I may have laughed when I first noticed. Madonna. Cher. Usher. Zayn. Somehow, it works.
I was more than happy to hear the signature Zayn high note from the days of One Direction remains a steady fixture in his music. Zayn has one of the highest and smoothest vocal registers amongst male singers that can wow even the harshest critics.
My biggest complaint still stands however. (No matter how many times I listen to “Pillowtalk” and enjoy it.) Zayn stated The Weeknd is an influence and that’s VERY obvious. Both the song and the video have strong vibes of his r & b counterpart. If Zayn’s voice didn’t shine so well in this genre of music, it would almost seem like a cheap copy.
While “Pillowtalk” isn’t anything groundbreaking, it’s catchy and a damn good start for Zayn’s solo career future. The last ten months have paid off for Zayn as “Pillowtalk” is not only the fastest selling single in 2016, but it also hit the no. 1 spot on the Billboard charts. Something not even One Direction managed to do. I am curious to see what else Zayn can throw at us when his debut solo album Mind of Mine drops in March. (Just don’t let it be March 25th, that one may sting too much still.)
Do you see a future for solo Zayn?
P.S. – For another name to watch in r & b in 2016, look no further than Alessia Cara. The young songstress brings a unique quality to the genre.
Until next time,