The past Saturday, Oct. 19, contemporary R&B artist Khalid released his sophomore album “Suncity.”
After his rise to popularity with the release of his hit single “Location” in 2016, which was later certified as quadruple platinum, and his first studio album “American Teen,” this second record came relatively quickly with respect to the timeline of similar artists.
Despite being only 20 years old, Khalid seems to know exactly what he’s doing, especially having sold out every venue on the “Location” tour, which later led to his album “American Teen” going platinum and getting a tour of its own.
With the announcement of his new album, Khalid stated that “Suncity” was the beginning of a new era, as he pays homage to his hometown of El Paso, Texas.
The introduction to the album, “9.13” features the audio from when Khalid was presented the key to El Paso in the background of some angelic vocals.
While the album is relatively short, it makes an impact with its heavy bass and mellow guitar.
With respect to the movement toward a new era, I think Khalid is in a transitional period and this album is a call to home and his struggle to figure out if he’s on the right path.
“Salem’s Interlude” explores these fears with the lyrics, “I feel like I’m not always in the correct direction / Even though I know I’m on the right path.”
“Motion” shows the back-and-forth of his inner struggles by countering the question in “Salem’s Interlude” by saying, “But I’m going in the right direction.”
The first full song on the track, “Vertigo” is slow moving, but gains momentum with a bit of guitar and some string instruments.
The guitar continues in “Saturday Nights,” which tells a story about a girl that Khalid seems to know better than her own family. While this song features more guitar than any of his other songs, it is still so distinctively Khalid and shows his wide vocal range.
The record starts wrapping up with “Better,” a follow up to Khalid’s song with 6LACK and Ty Dolla $ign, “OTW,” then ends with Latin mix “Suncity” with Empress Of. The track again shows his homesickness.
Khalid’s sophomore release mixes heavy bass with upbeat guitar, making it seem a little more pop than the R&B vibes of “American Teen.”
I’m not sure this album will take off like his first one, but if this is the transitional album to a new era, we have much to look forward to from Khalid.