It's probably not unfair to say that so far, other than on a few highlights (like this, for example), Zayn Malik's solo career has not necessarily lived up to his promise as the best vocalist in One Direction. The songs he's released so far have largely felt a little flat, and it feels like he's still trying to nail down his sound. But with the release of new song "Entertainer," from his as yet unannounced second album, it seems he might be closer than ever to getting into his groove.
A bit more uptempo than the slow jams he's been releasing so far, "Entertainer" (which you can hear above, and see a very 'in the strip club!!' video for too), the song is punctuated by laid-back synths that suit Zayn's personality. The track lifts into a chorus that actually has a bit of a fire underneath it, and a deliciously fuckboy-esque hook ("When you need me the most / I will turn you down"). And while Zayn's vocals have never really been the problem—in fact, they're his great strength, and he has one of the best falsetto ranges in pop music—it feels important to say that on "Entertainer, as always, he sounds like a beautifully tuneful, sexy angel. Let's hope for more like this, because though it's subtle in typical Zayn fashion, "Entertainer" does have the sense of an arrival.
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This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.