Nobody Is Listening

by ZAYN

Released January 15, 2021 via RCA Records

Reviewed January 25, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
River Blood (60%), Outside (60%), Calamity (30%)

ZAYN’s third record as a solo act has competent songwriters and producers at work behind the scenes, but only goes about as far as he can take it, leaving it stuck in definite mediocrity. The album in question just lacks soul, the singular most crucial ingredient to any successful attempt at R&B. As a singer, ZAYN ranges from average to wimpy and clueless, and as a performer, he is bereft of imagination. The combined strength of these shaky pillars results in some form of a letdown appearing in nearly every song, and it’s apparent that a more dynamic lead figure would make this a decent record. – DeVán (5.5/10)

Six years removed from his time with One Direction, Zayn Malik still seems to be searching for a distinct identity as a solo artist. Either that or he’s become perfectly content making inoffensive, R&B-tinged radio-pop. If Nobody Is Listening is any indication, it feels more like the latter. ZAYN’s collection of producers create a serviceable collection of laid-back instrumentals, but even the best moments are wasted by the singer’s uninspired performances. If nobody is listening, it’s because ZAYN has nothing new to say. – Dominick (5/10)

Nobody Is Listening is a prime example of an artist posturing to be much more than they are. As much as ZAYN wishes this album spoke about love, intimacy, and vulnerability in an authentic fashion, he seems to have only convinced himself of it. What could have worked fine as a boilerplate pop/R&B project is bogged down by the moodiness and inept introspection he broadly slaps onto each track. In an era ripe with flourishing R&B acts, many of whom set a far higher talent bar for their performances, this album doesn’t pose ZAYN as a worthy contemporary. – Enth (4/10)


DeVán: 5.5/10 | Alan: 5/10 | Dominick: 5/10 | Hadley: 4.5/10

Enth: 4/10 | Cam: 3/10