WVAU’s #6 SOTY: Location by Khalid

WVAU's #6 SOTY: Location by Khalid

Colin Doughterty

Photo from Genius

Released to much critical acclaim, and an eventual Grammy nomination, Khalid‰’s first full-length LP American Teen has boosted the 19-year-old to instant stardom. Track after track reassure listeners that the future is bright for R&B. Hits like “Young Dumb & Broke‰” and “Shot Down‰” are hard-hitting, sometimes emotional, and undeniably great. But no song better captures the spirit of the album than the lead single, “Location.‰Û

An ode to 21st century love, “Location‰” is a jam for the youths. Hidden behind honey-smooth vocals, Khalid tells the oh-so-familiar world of young relationships in the world of social media. Taking a closer look at “Location‰’s‰” lyrics, we can find deeper meaning in the seemingly simplistic content.

The opening lines of “Location‰” are almost ironic. Khalid sings:

Send me your location, let‰’s

Focus on communicating

‰Cause I just need the time and place to come through

In an interview with Genius.com, Khalid acknowledges this irony. To talk to someone face to face, one needs to go through a cell phone. Later acknowledging his relative inexperience with relationships, Khalid expresses reluctance to open up singing:

At times I wonder why I fool with you

But this is new to me, this new to you

Initially, I didn‰’t wanna fall for you

Gather my attention it was all for you, so don‰’t

Take advantage, don‰’t leave my heart damaged

These lyrics echo the sentiment found within the rest of the track. In summation, Khalid doesn‰’t really know what he is doing, but he is going to go for it.

Sonically, “Location‰” is not too dissimilar from the rest of the album. Solid production, not-yet formulaic, but definitely centered around forward vocals. The song matches the tone and theme of the album, while still giving it a new, soulful direction.

Ultimately, both American Teen and “Location‰” are not necessarily groundbreaking, but they do indicate the future is bright for R&B. Both lyrically and sonically, “Location‰” makes for easy listening, but not without reminding the listener of the pitfalls of 21st century adolescence. Looking at this track, and the rest of the album, listeners can certainly look forward to what Khalid puts out in the future.