Understated but undeniably sexy, Zayn’s third solo album shows confidence.

Arriving with very little fanfare, the former One Direction singer’s new solo album is as understated as its arrival.

Filled with songs that really emphasise the direction in which he has decided to take his music in, it is certainly a very sexy album and unashamedly so – as songs such as ‘Unfuckwitable’ make clear. It is not a bad thing of course – it shows a boldness and confidence in style that is pleasing. But it does also seem a little at odds at the way in which the album has arrived with very little promotion.

Album opener ‘Calamity’ is a real surprise with its poetic and spoken word qualities. While on the surface it comes across as quite restrained, underneath you get a sense of a person trying to figure out who he is. It’s a surprisingly reflective way to start the album.

Elsewhere, particular stand out tracks for me are the slightly more uptempo ‘Better’ sounds sophisticated and romantic, while ‘Tightrope’ comes across as one of the most tender songs lyrically on the album and the vulnerability of being so in love. ‘River Road’ is a certainly a poetic way to complete the album and feels as though it brings it full circle, with its thoughtful insights.

It is a sleekly put together album, with songs such as ‘Outside’ and ‘Vibez’ really making the most of the R&B style and shows how Zayn is able to subtly change his vocals to match the different qualities of the melodies. But it is also very consistent in terms of the quality of the music that is particularly highlighted on songs such as ‘When Love’s Around’ that is a real highlight.

The overall feel of Nobody is Listening is of a singer maturing and growing into his own style of music, certainly moving away from the typical pop songs that helped start his career in One Direction. An album that certainly has a fair few tracks that are well worth having on repeat.

By Emma Clarendon

Nobody’s Listening is available to buy and download now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐