Friday, June 21, 2024

One Direction’s Zayn Malik Releases Somber 27 Track “Icarus Falls” and Flies to Number 3 on iTunes


Zayn Malik has already had a weird year. He released six new singles, and all of them failed. Spectacularly.

Now the former One Direction star has included the half dozen tries on a new, somber 27 track album called “Icarus Falls.” Zayn, you see, has flown too close to the sun with One Direction and as solo act. He had a hit album in 2016 called “Mind of Mine.” He had a hit single called “Pillowtalk.” He had an even bigger hit last year on a duet with Taylor Swift from a “50 Shades of Grey” Movie. He has had a hit girlfriend, model Gigi Hadid. (That hit may have fallen off the charts.)

So he thinks he has a lot to prove with “Icarus Falls.” The digital version has arrived at number 3 on iTunes this morning, blocked from number 1 by a country album and by Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway soundtrack. He’s already released three more tracks from the album, bringing the number of advance singles, promo or otherwise, to 9 out of the 27. Well, that still leaves 16. And that’s a lot.

Early listenings bring this conclusion: “Icarus” is mopey. Zayn is not a dance guy. The tracks are mostly spare, low key efforts. Some are very catchy. I like “Common” and “Imprint” right off the bat. (He doesn’t like long titles.) One of the current 3 singles, “Good Years,” is about his career so far and is written by Herbie Critchlow,  who gave the Backstreet Boys some of their best songs. It’s worth several spins as it sets in. “Sour Diesel,” from that group of 6, I always liked. “I Don’t Mind” and “You Wish You Knew” have potential. Maybe “Rainberry” can become a flavor at Pinkberry.

I root for Zayn. In person, he’s a lovely, shy guy. He’s very earnest and serious. He wants us to take him seriously. I wish “Icarus Falls” had a little humor, or something totally frivolous. But this is what we’ve got. And damn it, we’re going to like it.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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