Khalid got his fame from the hit single “Location” in 2017 and has since had recent releases that receive a lot of praise, leaving his audience to anticipate what he'll put out next. “Free Spirit”, Khalid’s sophomore album, has an impressive production but the lack of upbeat songs and originality makes this album a little bit of a letdown.
The “Intro” starts the album strong with a laid-back cinematic instrumental. During the song, Khalid shows how he can carry a song with his unique vocals and some hints of creativity. The song then immediately transitions into "Bad Luck".
“Back Luck” slows down the tempo with a melodic beat and guitars providing some cushion for this song. Khalid talks about his troubles with previous relationships. The way he conveys this with the beat sounds really good.
“My Bad” counters the laid-back R&B theme with Khalid talking about a lack of communication between him and his lover. The one downfall to this song is how it is very similar to the previous track, right down to the beat.
“Talk” is definitely one of the best songs on this album while it lightens up the mood providing an old school R&B beat with Khalid discussing how he and his lover need to talk about their fast-moving relationship. A gleaming positive on this track is how the producer Disclosure uses elements of electronic music to add to the already well-produced beat.
“Don’t Pretend” is a decent song with a beautiful, airy beat with guitars playing in the background. Khalid and Toronto native Safe do a good job harmonizing during this song’s hook. Khalid talks about his love interest and how she’s forgetting the good times they had together. While the song does sound good, there is lack of subject matter and it sounds like some of the other tracks on this album.
“Outta My Head” brings a funky beat while Khalid reminisces about his old girl and how it is driving him crazy. Like “Don’t Pretend”, Khalid does a good job with adding features that complement him. John Mayer also meshes well with the song, providing a cushion for Khalid and his verse.
“Free Spirit,” the title track, sounds similar to the intro. Khalid explains how the world can be vicious sometimes and you have to accept it and, like the intro, the beat sounds very cinematic and smooth with Khalid’s vocals.
“Self” is an interesting song where Khalid takes a dark approach to talking about his anxiety and losing it all in his career. The beat really matches the mood that he’s giving off.
Overall, Khalid provides a good performance on this album, and his fans will definitely enjoy the production improvements. However, he falters in not having enough upbeat songs, with some of the tracks sounding very similar, making the album harder to listen to continuously. 2.5/5