Album Review: "American Teen" Marks the Birth of a Star


Khalid's American Teen is a beautiful, soulful ode to being young and free.

Tracks like "8TEEN," "Young Dumb & Broke" and the titular "American Teen" celebrate what life is like for young people.

If anyone has a good idea of what it's like to be a teenager, it is Khalid, the 19-year-old El Paso, Texas, native who has begun to make his way into the spotlight in the past year.

Khalid's fame began with the release of his single "Location," which also appears on American Teen. He then released seven other singles in the past year­ — six of which appear on the album — before finally releasing American Teen, his debut studio album, on Right Hand Music Group/RCA Records.


American Teen deals with the themes of technology, love and finding oneself.

In "Location," Khalid touches on love in the 21st century, pleading with his love interest to "send me your location." Khalid focuses on a similar theme on "Saved" when he sings about heartbreak and holding on to someone's phone number as a way of holding on to a relationship.

As an album, American Teen flows well. There are themes that connect the songs, giving the project a narrative to follow. Tying the entire thing together are Khalid's vocals. He has a gentle voice that possesses an underlying power, making his words sharp while maintaining their melodic quality, which is apparent in every song on American Teen.


Khalid's vocals — as well as his growing presence in the music industry — show that he is a talent that should be recognised, even at 19.

He has the poise and development of an artist that has been doing this much longer than he has, evidenced by the regularity with which he has been putting out music over the course of the past 10 months.

Khalid's album sounds fresh, despite the fact that seven of its 15 songs are previously released singles. The new songs on American Teen provide an even further glimpse into Khalid's vocal dexterity and range as an artist.

"Cold Blooded" and "Therapy" are two of the highlights of the album that really capture the essence behind the vocals of American Teen. If the album is any indication, we'll be hearing those vocals for a long time to come.


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