Tuning in with Leila: Where’s the spirit?


Illustration by Yasmin Haq

Khalid released his third album “Free Spirit” on April 5. After his debut with “American Teen,” my hopes for this album were set higher than they should have been. Once again, another album I had been waiting for had flopped.

All 17 of his songs had made it to Apple Music’s Top 100, but I don’t believe that even five of them should be on the charts. The songs were supposedly short tellings of his experiences in life, yet none of his songs really depicted those experiences.

He kicks off the album with “Bad Luck,” a song about his difficulty in establishing interpersonal relationships. Out of all of the album’s songs, that is the only one that truly stuck out to me. I could relate to this song in all cases.

This album didn’t even include features from any popular artists, another reason why this album possibly flopped. Everyone knows that features from big-time artists (such as Offset, Drake, Gunna, etc.) bring out the best in an album.

Khalid’s first album, “American Teen,” had been on everyone’s playlists and could be heard blasting from many speakers. American Teen includes different vibes that everyone could vibe with, so it was natural that everyone had high hopes for his next releases.

Sadly, Khalid’s second album “Suncity” was a major letdown. He categorized his album under “R&B/Soul,” but in my opinion, none of his songs really felt like they could be associated with that genre.

After his second album backfired, it was normal for fans to lose hope in their once admired idol. When I heard Khalid was releasing “Free Spirit,” I already had a slight feeling the album wouldn’t be as great as his first— and I was right.

“American Teen” set the bar super high for his other two albums, and both of them haven’t even been comparably close to how amazing his first one was. Although his music seems to be shifting in a direction that he’s never shared with his fans, I’m sure he will bring back the same vibes and aura he originally had.