Imua 'Iolani

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The Second Album: Khalid’s “Free Spirit”

April 22, 2019

     “Love is in the atmosphere, you can feel it in the air” is a line from 21-year-old contemporary R&B singer-songwriter Khalid’s new album, “Free Spirit,” released on April 5.  “Free Spirit” follows Khalid’s debut album, “American Teen,” from 2017 and his EP (Extended Play) that was released in October 2018. As a young talent, Khalid brings more to the table than most young artists.  Nominated for five Grammy awards in 2018, his fan base has grown exponentially throughout the world.

     In “Free Spirit,” Khalid keeps the same electric pop and guitar vibe as he did in his 2017 album.  In addition to several love songs, Khalid captivates his fans in "Free Spirit" with songs that emulate the struggles he faced since his last release in 2017.

     Although some songs focus on his work load and his life since his last album, the songs that really stand out center around his battle with depression and anxiety.  Appealing to teens and younger generations, Khalid expands his fan base with his “show stopping” songs.

     As a young artist, Khalid knows what it’s like to feel insecure and lonely in the hardest of times. In “Free Spirit,” Khalid opens up about the struggles of being young, lonely and feeling insecure about himself and his relationships. This album lets young people across the world know they are not alone in facing mental struggles and the fight within.

     Khalid shows that his own insecurities have led to problems in his relationships.  The first eight songs in his album show Khalid’s good, bad and ugly relationships.

     In “Don’t Pretend (ft. Safe),” Khalid’s solemnly sings, “Bruising my finger hitting your line // Come alive, come alive, show me, don’t pretend.”

     Khalid’s most vulnerable and meaningful songs are in the last third of his album including, “Self,” “Alive,” and “Heaven.”  Khalid opens up about his struggles with himself and feeling like he’s not good enough. By opening up to his fans, Khalid reveals that even the most successful individuals face insecurity and hard times.

     In “Self,” Khalid cries for help singing, “Cause the man that I’ve been runnin’ from is inside of me // He wants to keep his distance but its hard for him to leave.”  

     As Khalid struggles to deal with his anxiety, he further expresses his feelings in “Alive” singing, “I need another chance to say goodbye // I shouldn’t have to die to feel alive.”  

     Courtney Okumura ‘22 is an avid fan of Khalid and has been listening to him ever since his debut album, “American Teen.”

     “His songs are chill and very catchy so it’s good to sing in the car with friends and it reminds me of taking a road trip in the summer,” Okumura said.  

     Khalid brings a soulful touch to the last third of his album, showcasing his voice and his artistic touch to his music. Khalid has come a long way since his debut album in 2017, and “Free Spirit” is a pleasant surprise. Overall, this album is a solid 8.5/10 because of the deep meaning behind all of the songs he sings.  His lyrics are raw and original and are meant to be listened to by people who can relate to him. Khalid once again proves to be an artist to watch out for, and it is certain good things are coming for him in the future!

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