Zayn Malik quietly released his new album, Nobody Is Listening, earlier this month. With his smooth vocals and familiar post-boy band R&B, the One Direction alum is definitely hard to ignore.

The album begins with “Calamity,” which listens like a spoken word piece and gives an edge to an otherwise generic pop album. The track is as calamitous as the title suggests. But it’s introspective and vulnerable, indicating that maybe it’s not really for us, but for himself. “I say it for my sanity/ Whatever the calamity I did this for myself”

“Better,” “Outside,” and “When Love’s Around” are catchy, wistful, and a little more of what you would expect from classic pop tracks. Still, with song titles like “Vibez” and “Connexion,” the album feels directionless at times, with the angst of someone who seems much younger than Malik’s 28 years. But maybe that’s part of the appeal – an ode to the lost bad boyz that caught our teen fantasies. Keeping with that fantasy, “Sweat” is steamy and explicit, and while it lacks the intimacy of his former hit “Pillowtalk,” this track shows that Malik still has sex appeal.

However, the moment that has fans gasping is his evocation of Mohammed Rafi’s “Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho” in “Tightrope.” His effortless knitting of Urdu – gentle, dreamy, and loving – making it noteworthy.

True to his past solo work, Nobody Is Listening is an introspective album that gives listeners a small window into Malik’s mind.