“Suncity” Review: Khalid pursues versatility in his latest EP

The 20-year-old pop singer resurfaces with a blend of genres.

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“Suncity” Review: Khalid pursues versatility in his latest EP

Kayla Santos, Staff Writer

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Since releasing 2016’s summer anthem, “Location,” pop prodigy Khalid has grown into one of music’s most recognizable names. His 2017 debut album “American Teen” featured fresh, alternative and contemporary R&B cadences. As “American Teen” highlights Khalid’s love-hate relationship with youthfulness, his new album “Suncity” marks his concerns with adulthood.

KHALID DOES DIVERSITY

The El Paso native shows off his 915 pride with opening song “9.13,” which features an audio recording of the mayor of El Paso presenting a key to the city to Khalid. 56-second “9.13” leads listeners into the emotional “Vertigo,” revealing a piece of Khalid’s sensitive heart through his famous baritenor vocals infused with hints of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.”

“I wish living life was easy, but mine has been a mess,” Khalid admits in the first verse of “Vertigo.”

The following track, “Saturday Nights,” expresses the vulnerability shared between Khalid and an impassioned lover. With guitar lines similar to JoJo’s “Leave” and a fingersnap-like backdrop, “Saturday Nights” sounds straight out of a 2000s teen movie. Following the dialogue that displays Khalid’s deepest worries in “Salem’s Interlude” awaits the soulful “Motion,” where Khalid shares the feeling of being completely in love. Khalid’s raspy vocals saturated in lethargic electro-R&B beats reels listeners into the kind of joyous elation that Khalid sings about.

“I’m in love with moment. See me floatin’, see me glowin’,” Khalid sings in the chorus of “Motion.”

The last two tracks of the EP, “Better” and “Suncity,” have been receiving the most praise and attention. Although Khalid released “Better” as a single this past September, the track already claims almost 100 million plays on Spotify. As the track begins with simple piano chords, “Better” quickly introduces many percussive sounds that remain throughout the song. Eventually, the song slows down to properly conclude with a synth solo.

The “Young Dumb & Broke” singer ends his seven-track EP with the Latin-inspired “Suncity.” Professing his adoration for hometown El Paso, Khalid only found it fitting to include Spanish as a bid to the 915.

KHALID COMES OF AGE

From songs of carefree youth to songs of pressing adulthood, Khalid shows he is ready to grow out of his “American Teen” phase. 21-minute “Suncity” signifies Khalid’s yearning to mature in all aspects of his life.