Foolishly, I was willing to give the newly solo artist ‘Zayn’ (née Zayn Malik of preteen heart throbs One Direction) a chance. I had assumed that as he stated himself his own disdain of the ‘pop’ genre and his desperation to escape the ironclad fists of Simon Cowell, he was going to create something new, something different, something meaningful. My ideas were only amplified by the amateurish ‘Microsoft Paint’-esque style of his EP cover, suggesting perhaps that, in a fit of antiestablishment fury, Malik had fired his production team and done the ‘design work’ by hand. My discovery however that he had entitled his debut single PILLOWTALK (as if it isn’t a bad enough name without the capitalisation) extinguished these ideas of a kind of prelapsarian regression into a 60s new music era and made me realise that Zayn Malik was literally the same preteen heart throb he had always been, except now his rabid fans didn’t have parental permission.
I mean, the song itself doesn’t actually make any sense whatsoever. Malik describes his excitement over how his rampant lovemaking will ‘p*ss off the neighbours’ in ‘the place that feels the tears, the place to lose your fears’, which is perhaps a terrible metaphor for a house, or maybe even a woman. I’m not sure even he knows. Fundamentally the song is actually considerably more vapid than anything One Direction ever created as a quintet because, rather than describing the intensity of teenage emotion, he is literally just talking about sex using bad metaphors and unnecessary repetition. Moving on to the equally awful music video, can we just stop for a moment to focus on how Malik’s facial expression stays identically deadpan throughout the entire tedious three minutes and twenty six seconds? Okay, now that has been addressed, I think it would be fair to just accept that zooming in and out of Zayn’s blank expression in black and white isn’t artistic, nor is it entertaining, and seeing shot after shot of he and his supermodel girlfriend tentatively brushing lips isn’t titilating, rather quite annoying.
Conclusively it would probably be fair to say that badboy Zayn is literally no different from ethnically diverse Zayn of the now overbearingly white One Direction, and dyeing his hair grey doesn’t make him ‘edgy’.
And yet here I am, sat on a computer in Somerset, while Malik is being straddled by a million supermodels in a mansion in LA. There’s a lesson here kids…somewhere.