‘Hey what’s up?/It’s been a while.’
You heard. He’s back. Exactly one year after his infamous departure from the boyband phenomena One Direction, Zayn Malik (now just ‘Zayn‘) coincidentally released his first solo album Mind of Mine as well as his second single Like I Would. Following the huge success and critical acclaim of debut single Pillow Talk, how does it compare?
The track itself is an 80’s-style dance and R’n’B fusion with pop vocal hooks reiterating the fact that ‘he’ won’t be able to love/touch/know/do you like he would. It’s a real middle finger and au revoir to the subject person (of course naming no names, but most likely an ode to ex-fiancé and Little Mix member Perrie Edwards. Shady.). Like I Would is an faster paced brother to his previous release, the laid-back and ambient iT’s YoU (we’ll ignore the MSN-esque typing for now). With alludes to sauciness and smoking, it definitely lies outside the perimeter of what we know, but marginally.
Because although he has taken steps to redesign himself physically by dying his signature quiff bright pink (only to then shave it off entirely – take that Simon Cowell), it seems that musically it hasn’t been a complete revamp for Zayn. In fact, the man on a mission to distance himself from the clean shaven boyband sound hasn’t actually strayed too far with this track at all – at its core it’s a classic party pop tune. There are elements of R’n’B in the mix, and the lyrics are a little less family friendly that most 1D tracks, but the backbone to the song is really much of a muchness, and lyrically – dare I say – also somewhat try-hard.
It may be too early to call, but I’d say Mr. Malik is at his best when displaying his laid-back sound. Regardless, with his debut album making history by being the first ever record to get to number one in 70 countries, it looks like Z016 is going to be good for him.