Khalid – Free Spirit
Written by James Kallianis on April 30, 2019
By: Sydney Davis
Can we all be young forever? Khalid sure keeps making us feel like it. He released his second studio album Free Spirit on April 5, 2019, with 17 tracks. This was pretty surprising since he just released his EP, Suncity which had seven tracks. With the release of Free Spirit, Khalid achieved a major accomplishment by becoming the most streamed artist on Spotify with over 50 billion streams. He also has held a spot on the Hot 100 chart for over a year and counting as of April 2019 according to Billboard. These achievements have gained Khalid a lot of attention, and obviously building a strong fan base that supports him greatly.
With all this positivity going on for Khalid, it made his album get some hype behind it. He released his first single for the album, “Talk” on February 7, 2019. It was an upbeat bop to dance to, and it charted pretty well. “Talk” is probably the most fast paced song on the album. He also threw the singles “Saturday Nights” and “Better” from Suncity on the album due to them already being very successful on the charts. The album is a lot slower and sadder than his first album. His lyrics are hitting more reflective this time around; so under his calm vocals are raw emotions.
With many of the songs on the album like “Bluffin’”, “My Bad”, and “Bad Luck”, Khalid hits those emotions of having relationship troubles, both romantically and with friends in general. “Bad Luck” in particular stood out to me because Khalid was actually being vulnerable when he talked about building up walls because he’s scared to let people in because all their intentions may not be pure. This was a major theme throughout the album, which can be seen even in the ninth track, “Hundred”, where he talks about having so many so called friends, but they don’t care about how he is even doing in reality so he continues to build walls away from people by keeping his guard up.
Free Spirit is also a coming of age album in a way. The album’s last few songs get into Khalid’s transition of going from a teenager to becoming a young adult and all the emotions and experiences that come with the change. In “Self”, he details many of his shortcomings, and insecurities about himself. One line on that track that stuck out for me was “Now, does my raw emotion make me less of a man?” because he took a jab at the fragile masculinity subject of how showing emotions has the negative connotation of a man not being manly enough, and how this is an issue many people play into and don’t let their emotions out nor seek help out of pride. The next two songs “Alive” and “Heaven” talk about his contemplation of what’s worth living for and ultimately just hopelessly wanting to be taken away. These three songs tied together the album well summing up how he feels about everything he has mentioned in the previous track more in depth.
Free Spirit makes us feel young forever in a way than least would expect. The struggles at the coming of age point in Khalid’s life that he sings about show how sometimes things people go through when they’re young may still burden them into their adult life, if those emotions aren’t dealt with in a healthy way. Even though it has a somber tone, it’s still a great album to listen to due to its content overall.
Favorite Songs: “Bad Luck”, “Bluffin’”, “Alive”, & “Heaven”