Panda Album Review: American Teen (Khalid)

ProPanda
Pretty solid pop record with great r&b influences. Nice production, catchy melodies, and all coming from a promising new star with serious potential. I can see this guy becoming the male Lorde.

Best Tracks: Angels, Location, Young Dumb And Broke, Therapy, Cold-Blooded, Saved, Another Sad Love Song
Worst Tracks: Coaster

8/10

So. Haven't done an album review in a while, have I? Let's change that. I know I said I'd do Cashmere Cat, but I realized I'll save that for another day. Today, I wanna step away from the electronic scene. Last time, I went to the world of metal and looked at Metallica with Wonkey, but... ok let's be real here that was a failure. By reading the Iron Maiden reference alone, that could've been obvious. So, today, I'll be looking at...R&B! I was orignally planning to do More Life by Drake, but two things prevented me from doing so:
A. Why give Drake more attention?
B. Khalid is underrated. Seriously, this guy better not turn out a one hit wonder.

When I first heard Location on the radio, I was mesmerized immediately. The song, it was so beautiful. The minimalist beat, Khalid's soulful voice, the sincere lyrics, the dreamy atmosphere, it was all so perfect. The song went on to be a top twenty hit and I couldn't be happier! And, the thing is, he's sorta been the internet's next big star, gathering serious promotion deals on iTunes and Youtube, yet... I still feel his following isn't big enough. He doesn't have a "Top Ten Khalid Songs" list on TheTopTens. Some rapper from last year called Trouble has such a list, but Khalid doesn't?

Where this album is really superior is the lyrics. It tells the story of well, an American Teen. All the songs highlight various problems faced in teen millennial life. These include drug usage, parental disagreements, economic issues and digital love. Various references are shows in every track. Some of the various include:
American Teen: The joys of being a teen, and cherishing all the good life.
Young, Dumb And Broke: The convincing of a lover that they can make it through everything just by being young, and dumb.
Location: Talking things out digitally, then using those advancements to meet up face to face.
Another Sad Love Song: Khalid trying to figure out what went wrong in a relationship
Saved: Having comfort in saving the contact of a loved one who he had to part ways with
Coaster: My least favorite track, personally. Khalid doesn't like the way the girl treats him, but he doesn't wanna break up.
8Teen: A ode to being eighteen, touching upon various subjects.
Let's Go: Highlights the freedoms of the youth
Hopeless: Khalid miserable over a breakup, but aware it's not coming back.
Cold Blooded: A more mature version of Coaster
Winter: Khalid realizing that a summer romance meant so much more to him than what it turned out to be.
Therapy: Khalid comparing a girl's love to drugs and therapy.
Keep Me: Another breakup song, this time where Khalid is just asking to be remembered.
Shot Down: Feeling hurt from a breakup
Angels: Possibly the deepest song on here. It takes all the themes and concepts of the previous tracks, and takes all the despair one could get from them all, and tries to show such struggles in a way where Khalid is making angels in his head, in a hope to get through all of it. It truly is something.

The production on this album is solid. Ranging from people like The Arcade to DJDS, we have a lot of variety, taking influence from many different genres. The soul on Location, the trap on Young, Dumb, And Broke, it all works. Khalid also has surprisingly strong vocals which blend in with everything quite well.

All in all, this record is pretty damn good. It reminds a lot of Lorde's Pure Heroine, in a sense of encapsulating the life of the youth very well. My only criticisms are individual moments with some songs, and a bit of repetitiveness with the topic of breakups. Otherwise, yeah, damn good record, not a single track I dislike. Khalid has some real potential, and it'll be interesting to see if he gets another chance with the mainstream, or if he lives up to the critics, or hopefully both, but for now, yeah, I have faith in this guy. 8/10, I recommend to people searching for rising talent, as well as fans of pop and r&b.

Comments

Hm. Never really loved Location enough to give this album a shot. - WonkeyDude98

Seems like this guy is promissing. I should at least listen to his hit - Martinglez

P