Zayn's 'Mind Of Mine' Message Is Screaming For Independence

I've never been one to rest on my laurels without diving straight into critical analysis, so let's talk about the message behind Zayn Malik's Mind Of Mine. As I'm sure we all know by now, unless you've been separated from the Internet and any and all millennials for the past few months, Mind of Mine is Zayn's first solo album since leaving One Direction exactly one year before said album came out, and hey, that's actually the message of the whole album, right there. I know, you maybe weren't quite ready, but we stumbled across it without even realizing. Let me explain.

Close your eyes and point to a song from Mind of Mine at random, and there's a very solid chance that the song is either about sex, drugs, or the former band members that Zayn has mentioned in several interviews that he has lost touch with. (Well, except Liam Payne, as he revealed in another interview. They still talk.) "PILLOWTALK" is about as filthy a song as I've ever guiltily enjoyed, "BeFoUr" is a suspiciously named track that seems to hint at a feud, and "dRunK" is the ode to intoxication that none of us asked for but will guiltily really enjoy anyway. Also, as I mentioned, the whole album was released on the one-year anniversary of Zayn leaving the band. There are layers and layers of meaning in that fact alone.

Basically, with every single track, Zayn is trying to put distance between himself and his former bandmates, and it seems the best way he's found to do that is by reminding us that he's a) an adult male who b) has a penis that he c) uses for sex. He also makes clear he has an appetite for intoxicants, the exact opposite of the scrubbed-clean message of 1D, and seems to long for the days of AOL Instant Messenger away messages, if his capitalization habits are any inDicaTioN.

At the end of the day, each song is actually surprisingly catchy in its own right, and there are definitely some gems in there, but, overall, Mind of Mine feels like Zayn compensating for the years he spent as one of the lads by taking every single opportunity (and then some) to drill into us that he is a card-carrying independent man now. And don't you forget it. The more poignant moments in the album — the intermission comes to mind — can get kind of buried under how loudly Zayn is charging into independence, but listening to the album from start to finish will help you get the message (all of them) loud and clear.

Image: ZaynVEVO/YouTube; Giphy