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Khalid|American Teen

American Teen

Khalid

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Khalid Robinson made major commercial headway in early 2017 with "Location," a drowsy, teetering ballad the singer and songwriter seemed to deliver while lying on his bed, or maybe someone else's couch, eyes glued to his phone, just after waking up. In that song, and through much of what fills out American Teen, his debut album, Robinson's not one to get worked up. He's in no particular rush, content to drift through life while accepting, and occasionally sort of celebrating, the present. "American Teen" itself -- hollowed-out late-'80s mall pop with a disco-funk bassline -- is a youth anthem of shrugging aimlessness. There's not a whole lot of enthusiasm for revelry, dulled by substances, apathy, a combination of the two, or just the aspiration to look the part: "I'm so faded off of all the things I've taken, and maybe I'm not really drunk, maybe I'm really good at faking." There are points at which Robinson makes Frank Ocean sound like Teddy Pendergrass. On "Young Dumb & Broke," the mere concept of commitment seems so silly to him that he can't be bothered to enunciate the word, or maybe he just lost interest after the second syllable. After a nonchalant chorus that consists primarily of the song's title and a lethargic warble -- surprise -- he dumps one of his best melodies in the bridge. While he opens "Another Sad Love Song" by confessing "I'm not the best at showing my emotions," some bright moments make it apparent that Robinson has clearly sold himself short. Dusty ballad "Cold Blooded," in particular, demonstrates that he's perfectly capable of conveying grief without being overly demonstrative. When alert, he can be a force.

© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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American Teen

Khalid

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1
American Teen
00:04:11

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - N/A, Composer

(P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Young Dumb & Broke
00:03:22

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - N/A, Composer

(P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Location
00:03:39

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Khalid Robinson, Composer, Lyricist - Joshua Scruggs, Composer, Lyricist - SykSense, Producer - Samuel David Jiminez, Composer, Lyricist - Smash David, Producer - Taz Taylor, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Olatunji Ige, Composer, Lyricist - Tunji Ige, Producer - Alfredo Gonzalez, Composer, Lyricist, Recording Engineer - Orlando Gomez, Assistant Engineer - Erik Madrid, Mixing Engineer - Jorge Gutiérrez, Assistant Engineer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2016 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Another Sad Love Song
00:04:05

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - N/A, Composer

(P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Saved
00:03:27

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Khalid Robinson, Composer, Lyricist - Joshua Scruggs, Composer, Lyricist - SykSense, Producer - Oz, Producer - Ozan Yildirim, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Coaster
00:03:19

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Khalid Robinson, Composer, Lyricist - Nathaniel Hernandez, Composer, Lyricist - Skrittzy, Producer - Erik Madrid, Mixing Engineer - Orlando Gomez, Recording Engineer - Jorge Gutiérrez, Assistant Engineer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2016 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
8TEEN
00:03:49

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - N/A, Composer

(P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Let's Go Explicit
00:03:25

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Khalid Robinson, Composer, Lyricist - Oz, Producer - Ozan Yildirim, Composer, Lyricist - Atilla Elci, Composer, Lyricist - Hiko, Producer - Daniel Picciotto, Composer, Lyricist - Ro Ransom, Composer, Lyricist - Komari Bailey, Recording Engineer - Tiggi, Mixing Engineer

(P) 2016 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
Hopeless
00:02:48

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Khalid Robinson, Composer, Lyricist - Atilla Elci, Composer, Lyricist - Hiko, Producer - Alfredo Gonzalez, Recording Engineer - Orlando Gomez, Assistant Engineer - Erik Madrid, Mixing Engineer - Jorge Gutiérrez, Assistant Engineer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2016 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
Cold Blooded
00:03:28

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - N/A, Composer

(P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
Winter
00:04:02

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - N/A, Composer

(P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

12
Therapy
00:04:18

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - N/A, Composer

(P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

13
Keep Me
00:04:36

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - N/A, Composer

(P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

14
Shot Down
00:03:27

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - N/A, Composer

(P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

15
Angels
00:02:51

Khalid, Associated Performer, Main Artist - N/A, Composer

(P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album review

Khalid Robinson made major commercial headway in early 2017 with "Location," a drowsy, teetering ballad the singer and songwriter seemed to deliver while lying on his bed, or maybe someone else's couch, eyes glued to his phone, just after waking up. In that song, and through much of what fills out American Teen, his debut album, Robinson's not one to get worked up. He's in no particular rush, content to drift through life while accepting, and occasionally sort of celebrating, the present. "American Teen" itself -- hollowed-out late-'80s mall pop with a disco-funk bassline -- is a youth anthem of shrugging aimlessness. There's not a whole lot of enthusiasm for revelry, dulled by substances, apathy, a combination of the two, or just the aspiration to look the part: "I'm so faded off of all the things I've taken, and maybe I'm not really drunk, maybe I'm really good at faking." There are points at which Robinson makes Frank Ocean sound like Teddy Pendergrass. On "Young Dumb & Broke," the mere concept of commitment seems so silly to him that he can't be bothered to enunciate the word, or maybe he just lost interest after the second syllable. After a nonchalant chorus that consists primarily of the song's title and a lethargic warble -- surprise -- he dumps one of his best melodies in the bridge. While he opens "Another Sad Love Song" by confessing "I'm not the best at showing my emotions," some bright moments make it apparent that Robinson has clearly sold himself short. Dusty ballad "Cold Blooded," in particular, demonstrates that he's perfectly capable of conveying grief without being overly demonstrative. When alert, he can be a force.

© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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