The young genre-blending El Paso singer-songwriter Khalid became a bona fide pop star on the strength of his debut American Teen and the zillion collaborations he’s released since. One of those songs, a track with Calvin Harris and Future, made me a fan. But lately, in his Suncity EP and elsewhere, he’s been leaning hard into a beige, maudlin quality that doesn’t have me nearly as excited. That, plus he still hasn’t released a song as good as his breakthrough hit “Location.”
So I’m happy to report that “Talk,” the lead single from Khalid’s sophomore album, represents a refreshing change of pace. It’s produced by Disclosure, the UK brother duo known for artfully blending house music with pop and R&B. Thus, it’s a lot more colorful than much of Khalid’s recent output, bright and energetic while somehow retaining his signature moody ethos. “Can we just talk?” goes the hook — and yeah, Khalid, for now I’m willing to listen again.
Hear “Talk” below.
Khalid’s new album is out in April via Right Hand Music Group/RCA.