Icarus Falls - Has Zayn cemented himself as a true individual artist?
Icarus Falls & Apple Airpods go hand in hand. The volume doesn’t even need to be that high because the music is so new, loud & prominent.
Prior impressions of Zayn’s music have been, generally, a positive one. Although, I am always a tad skeptical before I begin listening one of his songs. I just know that there will be a 50/50 chance as to whether I will enjoy it or not. The reason for this is based on previous releases of his being particularly mainstream, i.e., a song produced for the masses & as good as some of them may sound, half of them are simply not my acquired taste.
Icarus Falls consists of 27 songs & there are next to no fillers. Surprisingly, almost every single song is, a, well, a song! The majority are worth a listen or two or three & they’re good, catchy, current tracks. In fact, I could even describe one, possibly two songs, as being of really high quality.
However, despite my praises, I do have a few qualms with Icarus Falls. One thing I picked up on immediately is that a lot of the songs sound the same. I appreciate that if you’re in a particular genre, then your songs will undoubtedly have conjoining traits & as an artist, you will have a particular style, which you will stick by, or perhaps alter in different ways as your career progresses. As I let Amazon Music Unlimited throw my ears around Zayn’s new project, there wasn’t a lot to distinguish one song from the next. The tempo seemed to remain the same, the vibe on nearly all of the songs are almost identical & the instruments/beats used seemed to make repeat appearances. I used to write a lot of lyrics myself, so I like to think I have the right to critique a fellow lyricist, in a constructive way, of course, but there is nothing bad to report, as all I heard was well-delivered, meaningful words.
There is no question that Icarus Falls seems to have a very linear sound & perhaps the same writer/s have ‘jumped on’ a lot of the songs. In all honesty, there are too many songs on the album that remind me of the one I just finished listening to. I appreciate that there are a lot of albums out there that have very similar ideas, but the difference between one another is often enough for it to pass.
Zayn has come a long way since the One Direction days & I have respect for him in pursuing a solo career. His song with Sia, that has over a billion views on YouTube, is a huge achievement. He is clearly a very marketable artist & the industries finest/experienced knew that if they represented him in the correct way, i.e., write & produce for him, he always had the very best chances of succeeding & evidently, he has done.
If you were to ask me about the longevity of Zayn as an artist, then I would become stuck in providing an answer. If you were to ask me if he/his team have the goods to produce the odd viral song, then my answer would be ‘yes’.
Icarus Falls has more good songs than bad & although they may not necessarily be anything particularly special and/or memorable, they are very listenable & are easily added to one’s playlist.
‘Natural’ is one of the more superior songs for me, if not the most superior. ‘Fingers’ has a nice sample & beat & ‘Too much’, featuring Timbaland, is a personal favourite.
If you’re a fan of Zayn, then Icarus Falls will be a dream come true, especially with the amount of songs on offer. If you don’t mind Zayn and/or some of his songs, then I would still recommend a listen. Most of the songs are appeasing, they have nice sounds/beats & the vibe could only be described as ‘chilled’ throughout the entire project. The Pop/RnB scene most certainly now has a contender among the other artists in this area/genre. You could argue that he always has been a contender, but I would beg to differ. I think this album is an attempt of a statement piece, almost as if to say ‘I am an artist, this is what I can do & i’m not going anywhere’.