Khalid’s “American Teen” album review
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Album: American Teen
Record Label: RCA Records
Released: March 3, 2017
Who would have guessed that 19-year-old Khalid Robinson from El Paso, Texas, would become an almost overnight sensation, with one of the hottest singles of the year, “Location” , peaking on Billboard’s The Hot 100 at 38. Now, the new teen sensation is basking in the fame and glory that accompanies his latest release and debut album, American Teen.
Not only does Khalid bring the ultimate combination of Frank Ocean, Imagine Dragons, and Drake to the table, he seems to be innovating the music scene by infusing the tried and true R&B and Pop scenes, seemingly creating his own genre. Finally: an artist for teenage youth that they can truly relate to and call their own.
Khalid is a young teen demonstrating the wild emotions teens experience as they meet the world. He isn’t trying to blow you away with a loud, thunderous voice, but is rather powerful in his softness, and has chosen to produce an album that totally fits his unique voice. In songs like “Location”, listeners can really get down with this soft spoken power.
“American Teen” starts of as one of the best album openers, giving off his true message and his main purpose in the album. Any teen can relate to this song: having fun on a night and never wanting to come home and realizing what it means to be living a new, adolescent life, learning about the world.
All of the songs on this album approach this common theme, but it is so tastefully done and not repetitive, you wonder why all albums can’t be that way.
“Young Dumb and Broke” follows as my go-to night drive song and my favorite on the entire album. With an almost better-than-Drake Drake vibe in its beat, he talks about living your life, finding yourself, and giving love, because life is too short to worry about anything other than having fun.
“Location” was the previously released single that drove him to the top in the first place. With a dreamy and pure tone, it proves immune to the stereotype that all singles that come from an album are overplayed and just awful and continues to be a favorite. “Another Sad Love Song” “Let’s Go” and “Winter” are the foot-tapping, catchy songs you’ll find yourself singing along to in to time. “Helpless” and “Cold Blooded” reveal themselves as more chilling songs about the heartbreak caused by not only others, but yourself. “Angels” follows as the perfect album topper, with a slowed down tempo, acting as a summary to every struggle he’s previously discussed and seemingly urging his listeners to not give up on a fun life because of the heartbreak bound to accompany it.
American Teen is the new album debut that is like a breath of fresh air for the listening teens and not just another Soundcloud album to be written off as ‘tacky.’ Khalid is blowing up the music scene and starting a new standard for breakthrough artists. For demonstrating such an innocent and young persona, Khalid is anything but childish.