Tune In: Mind of Mine

Vrinda Chauhan, Business Editor

Zayn Malik broke the hearts of millions of Directioners when he quit the charming boy band One Direction a year ago. Then, a year later, he picked the pieces up and put them back together, making hearts throb yet again over his new album, “Mind of Mine.”

I tried to hold a grudge and dislike his new work, but his voice, sound, and creativity took center stage in this album, and I found myself quite enjoying this mind of his.

From Justin Timberlake to George Michael, everyone loves a good boy band member turned solo artist; Zayn’s split was not too difficult to predict.

His style was always much edgier than One Direction allowed him to be, and he was certainly restrained in the group. “Mind of Mine” is far more mature than anything One Direction has produced, and this is evidenced  his slightly vulgar and much more sexual lyrics.

The freshman album is a clear demonstration of his talent and style, and gives an intense and sultry vibe, that matches well with his bad boy image.

“Mind of Mine” tells the tale of the former boy band singer’s breakaway. From the first comprehensible lyrics in “Pillowtalk,” Zayn makes clear the distinction of who he was as a 1D member, and who he is now.

In short, you don’t want to go to a Zayn concert with your parents.

That is not to say, however, that Zayn neglects the younger Directioners who have since moved with him into his newly-acquired maturity. Sonically, the album resonates with remnants of the edgier One Direction songs.

However, the sound is most reminiscent of Frank Ocean’s R&B in “Channel Orange,” only a little more noir.

It’s hard to fault “Mind of Mine” for its similar- sounding songs, with its mood swinging from the swooping ballad “It’s You,” to the dark shuffle of “Befour”, and the woozy and sloppy “Drunk.”

But maintaining momentum over 18 tracks is a difficult task, one which Zayn ultimately fails at: the second half of “Mind of Mine” falls into a hazy lull, and becomes boring.

“Mind of Mine” succeeds as a catchy and contemporary R&B album, but listeners can hear Zayn’s true departure from 1D not in his stray profanities or cloudy beats, but in the quiet few moments of  songs like “Intermission — Flower,” a warbling interlude sung in Urdu, the language of Zayn’s father.

Its guitar-picking and plainly sung melody would not find its way onto a One Direction tracklist, and yet, it’s presence is paramount in “Mind of Mine.” In the middle of his debauched, disco ball freedom party, it’s our truest introduction to a new, sudden realization of Zayn, sans Malik.