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R&B - Released March 3, 2017 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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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
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R&B - Released April 5, 2019 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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"Everybody wants a favor, everybody needs me," Khalid exhaustedly grumbles on "Hundred," a dispirited soft pop ballad placed in the middle of Free Spirit. Going by the unrelenting campaign to keep him in the spotlight since he hit with "Location," the statement doesn't seem all that hyperbolic. During the two years that passed between American Teen and Free Spirit, he took part in a decade's worth of collaborations and stylistic crossovers, plus frequent touring amid nonstop promotional duties, all while earning five Grammy nominations and accumulating a stack of platinum certifications. As much as any other artist shot to fame on the brink of adulthood, Khalid could be forgiven for turning in a woeful post-fame album and checking out. "Hundred" isn't the only song on which he vents. The downcast "Bad Luck" lashes out at parasitic behavior, and in a number of other songs, Khalid seeks escape from stifling situations, consumed by internal conflict, this close to swearing off all communication via WiFi for at least five minutes. These feelings aren't unique to pop stars, and even though they make up a fair portion of Free Spirit, Khalid and his fellow songwriters never express them in such specific language that an everyday listener can't relate to. More than anything else, the album works through emotional struggles of early adulthood -- from anguish over faltering relationships and insecurity about expressing grief, to yearning for a simple stolen moment beneath the bleachers. Consequently, Free Spirit is not illustrative as a title. In the song itself, the notion is merely aspirational and wistful, with Khalid vividly recalling, "We were drownin' down our memories/A cemetery full of broken bottles, man, that liquor bleed." Only the kind of thunderous "Heaven," involving Father John Misty and a couple of his associates, sounds too heavy in sentiment, with Khalid aching, "Lord, there's nothing for me left out here." It adds unnecessary weight to an hour-long LP with little joy or even relief, one that is nearly static in energy level despite a carousel of producers -- completely different than that of American Teen -- featuring Murda Beatz, StarGate, Disclosure, and D'Mile. An upside is that Khalid's voice is smoother, richer, and therefore more expressive here than it was on the debut. It'll probably sound even better after a long-deserved break. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released October 19, 2018 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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Fresh off a Top Ten pop hit with Normani ("Love Lies"), a Ty Dolla $ign and 6lack collaboration ("OTW"), and a Top 20 hit with Benny Blanco and Halsey ("Eastside"), Khalid closed out his run of 2018 releases with this 20-minute EP. Made primarily with Charlie Handsome and Digi, Suncity leans into R&B with more emotion and physical exertion than American Teen. Ballad and lead single "Better," featuring assistance from Stargate, bumps a little and even adds some talkbox. Elsewhere, "Vertigo" resembles aching Coldplay, and "Motion" evokes mid-'80s MOR, smeared and slowed.
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R&B - Released February 7, 2019 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released February 14, 2018 | RCA Records Label

R&B - Released August 26, 2016 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released April 20, 2018 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released April 20, 2018 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released June 7, 2017 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released October 18, 2018 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released January 13, 2017 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released January 11, 2019 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

R&B - Released December 16, 2016 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released June 29, 2018 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released December 21, 2018 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released December 2, 2016 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released February 3, 2017 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

R&B - Released October 27, 2016 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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R&B - Released January 11, 2019 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

R&B - Released September 12, 2016 | Right Hand Music Group, LLC - RCA Records

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