After Years of Production and COVID-19 Delays, Is Chemtrails Over the Country Club Worth all the Praise?

By Nicholas Palmer

Going into this album review, I didn’t have much experience with Lana Del Rey, and I will be frank in saying that I never actually listened to a single song of hers before. Recognition by name, despite not knowing of her sonically, I’d heard her name come up quite often as one of the most unique and interesting artists that currently resided in the music industry. As a result, when I heard that she would be coming out with her new album in the early part of 2021, I knew that I would have to give it a try.

To my surprise, I found an album that exceeded any expectations that I had before. With a sound so unlike anything that I had listened to throughout the whole semester, and themes that felt so personal to both the industry and the artist herself, it was a piece that left me thoughtful and reflective. With these points laid out, I think it is important to talk a little about the background of the album.

Chemtrails Over the Country Club is Lana Del Rey’s seventh studio album, as well as her seventh top-ten album in the country. Receiving critical acclaim from upon release, the album deals with topics such as escapism and love — with a tinge of retrospective nostalgia that seems to carry between songs.

Photo by Julia Collins

Originally set to be released in 2020 but due to manufacturing delays, the release was pushed back to 2021 and released on March 19th. Del Rey states that much of the album is pertained to her “stunning girlfriends” and “beautiful siblings,” revealing a much more emotional, innocent side of her than was previously explored.

In particular, among the high points of the album, I found myself attached to three of her B-sides, along with the title track “Chemtrails Over the Country Club.”

The first song I’ll talk about, “Wild at Heart,” is a song that explores ideas of freedom and love, connecting back to the genuineness of her prior album. The song is often praised for its use of recycling elements from several tracks found in her previous album, creating a bridge from her past self to her current. The slow piano opening features a melody so pure and open that you can hear the strings on the guitar in the recording. The song doesn’t keep itself limited, however, with the end of the pre-chorus creating a small swell into a jazz/folk inspired chorus that is jarring from the verse but intriguing. Another element that is explored on the album that is showcased in success here is her use of dueling vocals, one typically in a higher range, that play off each another. This album had many moments to show off Del Rey’s amazing vocal, with her airy, echoey tone feeling almost spiritual. In its truest essence, this song has a bombastic nature with the varying vocals at the end providing the perfect completion to a song of exploration and experimentation.

Photo by Julia Collins

The next track after “Wild at Heart” is another of my favorite songs off the album, “Dark But Just A Game.” Beginning with a quote from the song’s producer, Jack Antonoff, the song explores the tragedy many stars face where artists must create a façade of themselves to achieve the fame they desire. As fame tends to be the album’s main antagonistic force, Del Rey refuses to change who she is, being happy and open as the person she is. This theme of identity and truth is played throughout the song and creates a great juxtaposition. For example, in the opening verses, there’s a vocal effect placed on her voice that creates a compressed, almost heavy feeling that is then stripped away for the chorus where her voice is carried and clear.

The song is at its best when it moves between parts. There’s key changes, differences in percussion between tambourines and a deep bass that gives variety and uniqueness from point to point. Finally, as the song begins to fade out, there is this one bit of repetition that provides this almost futile feeling. A song that gets better the more you explore the interesting background elements and the lyrics in attachment to the instrumentation, “Dark But Just A Game” has a strong message that could speak for the music industry as a whole.

Photo by Pablo Fierro on Unsplash

The next song I want to turn attention to is the 8th track on the album, “Yosemite.” The song describes a changing relationship and says a great relationship can “stand the test of time” just like anything in nature. Del Rey once described that even if people in the relationship change, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a change that would cause the relationship to come to an end. To Del Rey, she states that this song truly captures the essence of what a relationship ought to be, and its lyrical elements truly carry that message throughout. The beginning carries this atmosphere that’s reflective of a western, with the guitar’s repeated melodic line giving it a haunting feel. As well, the tapping of the soft bongos give the song a fun, fluttery tone as her vocals carry over the instrumentation. As well, the cymbals and synths that kick in just melt into one another and feels like one large sound.

One thing that really captured my interest in this song is how it makes use of some repetitive elements. The guitar never really explores any different melodic lines, but it works in conjunction with the various instrumentation changes and tonal shifts that grounds the song in a bit of commonality. Truly, this song has a lot of interesting things going on that one review cannot truly explore. There’s the bridge where she adds an echo vocal effect on her voice, the screeching in the background at points, and more that leaves the listener encapsulated in a song that seems to end far too quickly, despite its lengthy run time.

Photo by Julia Collins

Finally, there is the title track for the album “Chemtrails over the Country Club.” In this quieter piece, Del Rey contrasts the imagery of chemtrails, often the focus of many conspiracy theories, with the serenity of suburban life. A ballad that speaks right to the artist’s strength, she creates a landscape that speaks to the true essence of life, commenting on the lavishness and happiness often created in suburban ignorance. There’s a supernatural quality to her vocals that caught me the first time I heard this song; something that would be reinforced throughout the rest of the album. There’s a slight reverb in her voice that slightly dissuades itself from purity. It adds a layer of insecurity just like the suburbia that she comments on. One interesting element of the song is how Del Rey plays with the weight in her voice. At times it can feel so light as if it would float from word to word, and other times it feels so dense that it could be felt within the listener themselves. Into the final verses of the song, the build up with the percussion and synth in the background creates this anticipation for one final exploration. As the song fades away, there is this repetition of the drum that leaves the song unsettling, as if there’s more to be explored; a quality that I find to be intriguing, and leaves the listener anticipated for the other tracks to come.

For myself, there were a lot of high points on the album. I found the tone to be quite unique and starkly different from what many of the top artists in the industry are doing, which creates a style and message that is quite Del Rey’s own. As well, while there were not any large tonal shifts throughout the album, the variations and experimentations that take place are quite interesting. The more you listen, the more appreciation they’ll get. While I would have preferred a couple songs that maybe broke the form a little, perhaps one with a third verse or one that had a fast opening, I have to say no song on the album left me disappointed and it was difficult to pick favorites to analyze in more detail. While I have no basis of which to rate this album in comparison to Del Rey’s past works, it left me wanting more and genuinely interested in her work. While this style of music is not one that I typically listen to, her stellar vocals and her careful instrumentation, along with deep lyrical themes that carry from song to song, really make this an album that stands out in the year so far.

The Weeknd’s After Hours: Deserving a Grammy Nomination or an Overreaction by Fans?

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

With the Grammy’s in hindsight, now comes the time for reflection and opinions. Maybe you thought a different artist should have won, or you felt that the Academy was unfair and overlooked a certain song for contention. This year, I believe there was no greater disappointment by the Grammy’s than their ignorance of the Weeknd’s album After Hours. Released in March of 2020, it received generally positive reviews, with many critics claiming it to be Abel Tesfaye’s (The Weeknd’s) greatest work to date. With After Hours breaking multiple chart records, achieving immense popularity amongst fans of Tesfaye’s and charting on Billboard for weeks, the lack of any nominations came as a shock to many. Being dubbed “album of the year” by critics without even making the nomination list, it left me curious what the piece would be like. As such, I began my listening of the After Hours to see just how good this Grammy oversight of an album really is.

After Hours is the Weeknd’s fourth studio album, representing a reinvention and renewal for the artist. With themes of loneliness, heartbreak and recklessness, the often shining instrumentals create a stark juxtaposition with the lyrics and message of each track on the album. With introductions of new wave and dream pop influences, those familiar with his Starboy era are sure to be surprised in listening to this new style. Vulnerable, innovative and downright angelic, this album’s place in a shattered 2020 was bold and touching. For myself, I find this album works best in when listening in order. Many of the themes and narratives, of love lost and change can be felt from track to track. As well, the similar instrumentation and aesthetics give the audience a journey from start to finish that feels incomplete without hearing every single element that The Weeknd has to offer. From “Hardest to Love,” to “Faith” to the singles “After Hours” and “Blinding Lights,” this fourteen track album offers the listener many variations of which to enjoy; fitting a style and atmosphere for everyone to latch on to.

“Hardest to Love” is the third track on the album. The Weeknd paints a relationship that has gone sour; where the singer knows their partner wants to break up, even if they are together at the time the song is written. Here, the singer wants a real and meaningful relationship, with the absence of others and the emptiness it brings being represented and touched upon. The main melodic rift is light and fleeting, reflecting this sort of whispery remorse that echoes throughout the song. The deep bass that kicks in during the verses gives a darkened vibe, with the outro having a mixture of droning and distortion. Here, the main melody plays ever so faintly to carry the listener forward. While repetition is an element that I find to be a little bit stagnant in the album on the whole, I think The Weeknd does it best in this piece. It doesn’t feel forced, and by the end of the song, you find yourself singing the main choral lines. It was an easily memorable and catchy piece.

One of my favorite B-sides on the album, “Faith” is a song that offers a reflection between religion and partying/drug usage. Personable and honest, it has those moments of humanity that makes this song standout. Comparing getting high to losing one’s religion, the mix of synths and sirens, along with The Weeknd’s angelic vocals really gave this song its ethereal sounding quality. This is most prominent at the ending, where the religious imagery painted throughout the song is reflected in the sound. It is this outro, however, where the distortion and pacing shift to make the melody deeper and somber as it leads towards its conclusion. What this song does best is its moment of attention grabbing, such as at the line “But if I OD” where instrumental changes occur during a counter-melody introduction in the synth that creates an intriguing tonal shift. A song that gets better with each listen, this is definitely one I do not recommend skipping.

Next comes the album’s titular track, “After Hours.” The album’s penultimate record, it describes an ex-relationship, with the singer apologizing for his past failures and wishing to make up for them. Clocking in at just over 6 minutes, some may not appreciate its extended runtime. However, its varied sections really give the album some time to experiment and shine. Poignant and refined, the song never feels as if it is dragging and I was shocked at how quickly it felt. The song gives it moments to breathe, being an experience from start to finish. There’s a dark atmosphere to the piece, with some dissonance and electronic sounds, but Tesfaye’s falsetto shines brightly, being a light in this rather darker tone. I will admit that between verse 2 and 3, it can feel a bit repetitive or as if the song may be dragging on. But overall, I think this song just goes to show the balance that the Weeknd does in this pop and creative fusion, creating a piece that is both impactful and different from minute to minute.

Finally of the tracks that I will discuss in depth, there is arguably the most popular and well recognized song from this era of the Weeknd, “Blinding Lights.” This piece finds The Weeknd distracted, with the presence of his significant other making up for his state. An 80s synthpop sound, mixed with electropop and EDM drums, this song both harkens back to this pervious eras, while also explosively pushing into an era all brand new. Certified platinum and breaking the record for most weeks in the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart — this song was a hit amongst fans and its very evident why. One thing Tesfaye stands out for most are his vocals, which carry smoothly through the chorus here. This is backed accordingly with high-pitched electronic sounds in the melodic frame that creates differentiation in the song. As well, the lower bass works well here, indicating tonal shifts as the song moves from section to section. In fact, it works so well that by the time you reach the end, you only wish that it went on just a tad bit longer.

As someone who has never listened to a Weeknd album in full, or his style of music prior, I went in with very little expectations other than the opinions I’d heard from others. And, while I have mostly enjoyed this album and added a few songs to my playlists, there were some elements that I found to disrupt my listening pleasure. One of the biggest being the abundance of similarities, in my own opinion, from song to song on the album. I’m not someone that necessarily feels that each song on an album has to delve into different genres of music. However, with the instrumentation being similar in a rather large album such as After Hours, along with core themes that carry from song to song, it can start to feel a tad repetitive when you listen to it all in one go. Moreover, on a personal level, I had wished The Weeknd had gone a little deeper in his lyrical approach. Overall, I am sure many of these songs touch upon topics that must be difficult for him to address, so it is not a strong critique. But, with some very moving moments in many of these songs, I only wish that it carried into every corner of this album.

In collecting my thoughts on After Hours I think my overall first impression from it was: shocked. I was shocked that this album, which had so many great tracks and really touched upon a lot of the emotions that many felt in this 2020 was just ignored by the recording academy. That this album that had broken so many records and became an instant classic would not be remembered for winning anything that year. I do not know the intimate process that goes into the nomination of a piece of music for the Grammy Awards, so I do not know the ultimate decision process that was behind the voting panel. However, to me this album was rather solid and gave me an interest in future The Weeknd material in the future. While it had some elements that I disliked, I overall found it to be sonically cohesive and an enjoyable experience. While the Grammy’s may not have a seen it as award winning, if you’ve yet to listen to it yourself, I say listen to the fans and you’ll be in for a treat.

Evermore: A Reflection of the Past in a Year Filled with So Much Turmoil

By: Nicholas Palmer

Photo from Unsplash

When Taylor Swift dropped Folklore in the summer of 2020, it came as both a surprise and shock to fans. While an album may have been expected to arrive in the near future, the lack of leadup and promotion led to a release that focused solely on the music and the message behind the songs. As such, it came as an even greater surprise to most when a second album was released in the winter of 2020. Evermore, a 15-track album that delves into concepts of escapism and introspective thought, is a sister album to Folklore. Many think that Folklore can be thought of as the spring and summer to Evermore’s fall and winter. As well, Taylor Swift dedicated this album to people who use music as a means to deal with loss, a theme that touched heavily upon the hearts of those impacted by 2020.

Evermore can be described as bold and revealing in nature, delving strongly into the idea of love in a more sophisticated and mature manner. American Songwriter perfectly described the album as representing, “‘the ‘unhappily ever after’ anthology of marriages gone bad,” (Crone, 2021). Through concepts of forgotten love, intolerance and even a curious murder plotline, the concepts explored in this album show a maturity Swift hadn’t revealed before.

Swift takes these concepts of love and heartbreak so rooted in traditional western pop songs and completely flips the script; providing an introspective look on the human condition and how relevant these emotions can be. Along with the intriguing themes of the album, Evermore also roots many of its songs in first-person storytelling through a third-person lyrical style that dances between what is real and what is not to create a sonically whole piece that is as devastating as it is beautiful.

Being a 15-track album, there were many highlights for me throughout my listen, and many that I will have to revisit in time. For now, however, I will narrow down my highlights to four pieces: “Champagne Problems,” “Tolerate It,” “No Body, No Crime” (ft. HAIM), and “Marjorie.” While the musical stylistic elements of each song may differ, some being wildly different from others on the album, what each of these tracks has in common that stood out so strongly to me was a lyrical precision that was original and intoxicating.

As such, with each song (and really with every song on this album) I highly recommend following the lyrics while listening to the piece before making a decision on whether you like it or not.

“Champagne Problems” opens with a beautiful piano melody that carries through the entire song, with Swifts vocals being some of her best on the record. Many Swifties have noted that the chord progression in this song is identical to that of the song “New Year’s Day” on Reputation, which showcases Swift’s proclivity for Easter eggs and storytelling. Another one of her skills is evident in her range through this record (especially in Champagne Problems) as she is able to hit some rather high notes, while hitting probably her lowest note on the word “problem.” Moreover, her vocals building on themselves in the bridge is absolutely angelic and other-worldly. However, as stated earlier, some of the best parts of this song are the message and the underlying story.

The song discusses a woman turning down a marriage proposal before Christmas, with the woman being heavily hinted to have a history of mental illness, which is especially evident in the lyric, “She would’ve made such a lovely bride; what a shame she’s f***ed in the head.”

Champagne Problems is typically defined as something that is very stressful and difficult to someone, but insignificant compared to global issues. Mental health can often feel this way to the individual, being so suffocating, despite seeming irrelevant compared to natural disasters and other worldly problems. What this song does best as the second track on the album is create an emotional discourse right out of the gate, while also providing beautiful instrumentation and melodies that set the bar high for the rest of the album. A potential favorite of the album on the whole, I think this song is best understood when experienced, with its motifs and illustrated scenes conveying this extremely sad, yet powerful perspective.

Keeping with the idea of unsuccessful love stories, another impactful song is “Tolerate It.” Upon research, I learned that the fifth track on Swift’s albums typically are her more vulnerable songs on her albums. As such, you can imagine the relatable message that can be felt behind this song. Describing the struggle of being ignored and unappreciated by someone you love, Swift’s inspiration for this song came from her reading of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier in which she said she thought, “Wow, her husband just tolerates her. She’s doing all these things and she’s trying so hard and she’s trying to impress him, and he’s just tolerating her the whole time.” Throughout the song, the piano provides these deep, depressing chords as Swift’s vocals almost seemingly cry out in anguish. The percussive beat matches the tempo of the piano, providing an almost anxious element to it. The end of the song is very lacking in hope, as she spends the final chorus speaking on how she could leave if she wanted to, before repeating the verse at the beginning; that she continues to try to impress him anyway. As stated before, its a vulnerable, personal piece that will only get better the more you relate to it.

Compared to the past two songs, if you’re looking for a song that is sonically unique compared to the rest of the tracks, look no further than “No Body, No Crime.” This song features HAIM band member Este Haim, a good friend of Swift’s, whose parts may be subtle but add a lot to the song in the emphasis of the line “He did it.” While the other songs may have talked about failed relationships or very intimate elements, this track is the center of a missing persons case involving a cheating husband and a missing friend. Returning back to Swift’s country roots, where I must confess I have never been the biggest country fan, it stands so unique and is done so well, that it feels both refreshing and exciting at the same time. While the lyrics may be repetitive for some, I felt that their constant drumming in the chorus was haunting and chilling, especially when the subject turns from the husband to the mistress and Swift. Overall, I felt that the instrumentation did a lot for this song, with the country ensemble giving it this ruthless vibe that feels very western standoff in nature, with small elements like HAIM’s parts and the police sirens at the beginning just raising this track to be one of the best on the album all together.

While perhaps not my absolute favorite on the album, “Marjorie,” in terms of connection to its audience, feels the strongest in an already impressive catalog. The song is a tribute to Swift’s late grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, whom she lost at age 13. This track is a reflection of the track “Epiphany” from Folklore which described the loss of her grandfather, Dean. An opera singer, Marjorie helped to inspire Swift to pursue music, with her background vocals in this track being credited in the album notes. One of my favorite elements about this song is how it just seems to keep growing all the way to its final seconds, bringing in acoustic guitar, background vocals and various other elements all the way to the final chorus. Furthermore, the lyrics, while simplistic at first, have a lot of interesting things going on, with repetition being a common technique used throughout the album. She also utilizes a form of chiasmus, in which the grammar or structure of one phrase is inverted in the following phrase, such as in the opening lines, “Never be so kind you forget to be clever; Never be so clever you forget to be kind”. Its the way that she uses literary techniques and unique ways to transcribe her music that makes her one of the best lyricists in the industry, consistently amongst some of the most talked about artists year after year. In a year unlike any other, with such heavy loss and devastation shaking the planet, this song can be an escape for many. It’s a song to listen to and reflect in ourselves and the things we’re going through. I went into Evermore with pretty much no expectations, having never fully listened to any piece of discography by Taylor Swift before. While I have heard many of her singles over the years, the disparity between her singles and her other tracks can often limit one’s exposure to her true capabilities as a songwriter and performer. While I did find some of the repetition of elements and instrumentation to be a bit tedious in a 15-track album, many tracks, such as “No Body, No Crime” really broke the mold whenever things felt to be turning stale. While this album may have been out for a while, if you have not given every single track a listen, I would say they are each worth a try. Each tells a different narrative in a way that if you only know Taylor Swift from her past works, you’re missing out on what she’s creating now. An album that will most likely go down as a marker of the year 2020 in totality, Evermore represents everything dark, depressing and yet inspiring about the human condition. With Taylor Swift having recently re-recorded past tracks of hers, as well as two bonus tracks that can be listened to on the album, Evermore stands as a great re-introduction into the true talent that is Taylor Swift.

Hayley Williams Lets Go in Her Sophomore Solo Album

On this self-defined prequel to her debut album “Petals for Armor,” Hayley Williams explores a quieter, softer sound while reciting love letters to a dead relationship.

Photo by Jonathan Velasquez on Unsplash

Created in isolation, “FLOWERS for VASES / descansos” paints a picture of the internal conversations Hayley Williams had while going through the processes of healing and letting go of this dead relationship. 

The album serves as a companion to her 2020 solo debut “Petals for Armor;” a three-part album in which Williams explores the different aspects of healing and growth after her divorce from her partner of 10 years. “FLOWERS for VASES / descansos” focuses on the grieving state. However, rather than a follow-up, Williams defines “FLOWERS” as a prequel or an extended detour between the first and second parts of Petals.

The name of the album, as explained by Williams on a Tweet, represents the process of learning to let go of dead things. The word “descansos” refers to markings placed in memoriam at the side of the roads where unexpected deaths occured. In the context of the album, this illustrates the mourning over the lost relationship that Williams sings about. 

Truly a solo project, the Paramore lead singer wrote every lyric and played every instrument in the album. Through delicate guitar strumming and intimate storytelling, Williams presents a record that feels fully hers. 

The album perfectly illustrates the recent, mildly dystopian trend of the quarantine album. The influence of the isolation from the world represents itself in the quietness and simplicity.

This quieter sound allows the intimate lyrics to really shine through in this deeply personal album. At times, the listener feels as if they’re intruding into Williams’ private, personal diaries. A great contributor to this intense intimate feeling is the inclusion of voicenote recordings in multiple tracks. A perfect example of the level of intimacy achieved in the record is the song “HYD;” a song so delicate but so direct that just listening to it feels like an invasion of privacy.

The folk melodies of the album truly contrast with the anthemic indie-pop brightness presented in “Petals for Armor.” The ethereal sound achieved through simple guitar and piano might become a bit monotone at certain points of the record, but the striking lyrical content of every song allows every track to shine in their own way. 

While known for her impressive acrobatic vocals with Paramore, Williams sticks to a simpler approach for “FLOWERS.” She accompanies the delicate sound of the record with mostly her lower register. Rather than showing off her insane vocal talent, Williams focuses on intimate storytelling.

In the album’s closer track, “Just a Lover,” Williams sings, “I’ll be singing into empty glasses / No more music for the masses.” 

These songs are not for the crowds— they are for her. 

Track highlights: Trigger, Just a Lover, My Limb, Good Grief

"Nobody is Listening" to Zayn and It's About Time They Start

By: Nicholas Palmer

Moving away from his sophomore album, Zayn Malik has never felt both further away from his time in One Direction and closer to a style all his own. In his third studio album, Nobody is Listening, Zayn brings together some of the closest personal elements of his life into a construction of artistry that he's not done before. Being described as such, Zayn had total creative liberty throughout the entire album, from lyrics all the way to the album artwork. The album has its ups and its downs, but what it does best throughout it is share the soul of Zayn in the way that an artist could not have done any better.

In his album, Zayn gives a personal touch to his music that gives a real connection between the message and the melody. In Nobody is Listening, he plays upon the perception of fans who never listen to celebrities’ real voices in which they talk about their grief and pain beyond the façade of the mysticism of fame. Throughout the album, Zayn deals with topics such as his anxiety, past eating disorder, his use of cannabis as a calming agent and his relationship with Gigi Hadid. For fans, this album speaks as a reflection of the artist himself and a true connection between Zayn and his audience. And, just as with the single “Vibez,” sometimes you have to just not be afraid to be yourself. Because in the end, nobody is even truly listening.

Personal highlights of the album come from the single “Better,” along with the tracks “When Love’s Around” and “Sweat.” “Better,” the first of the two singles, gives the first taste of the album’s main musical stylistic elements of R&B, pop, and maybe even a little soul. Harkening to almost an emotional ballad of sorts, with underlying lyrics hinting to his relationship with Gigi Hadid, this serves as a representation of the type of artistry present throughout.

“When Love’s Around” includes one of the two feature artists included on this album, Syd, with Devlin providing great moments as well in “Windowsill.” WLA is a song that has some of the most interesting instrumental moments of the whole album with keyboards, synths, drums and guitars all combining beautifully. As well, Syd’s vocals in harmonization with Zayn’s creates some of the most powerfully emotional melodies you will hear from Zayn yet.

For “Sweat,” its message of physical love is consistent with other parts of the album, however, the vocals and harmony are perhaps Zayn at his best. The elongated vowels that split up the chorus bring the passion reflected in the lyrics, creating a piece that is as powerful in text as it is sonically.

That is not to say that there are not some elements that do not detract from the album on the whole. One thing that I have seen criticism of Zayn over is his lack of proper enunciation, with mumbling often being described in his singing style. As well, this album does not do him any favors in combating that criticism, although it does have its charm at times. While the lack of big instrumentation may be reflective of the message and title of the album itself, it is unfortunate a couple more larger production pieces could not have been included. This would have helped to break some of the repetition and similarity that took place from time to time.

Ultimately, I find this album to be almost transitional in nature for Zayn. A piece that feels so distant from his past performance nature but also gives just a taste of his best qualities, Zayn feels right at the moment to create a truly sensational piece of music in the coming years. While it is likely that this album will not perform as great as many fans may hope for, the talent and direction of Nobody is Listening is interesting for Zayn. With this album being so closely personal for him, he makes it evident that he’ll keep on singing even if there’s nobody left to listen.