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Track Review: Khalid ‘Vertigo’

Finding stability in what should make your head spin.

Rachel Cross

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Khalid paints a beautiful, elegant picture for the mind with “Vertigo.” The soft music quickly envelops the listener, holding them through a ride inside the mind as Khalid ponders; “are we alive?” 

On first listen, the song, which appears on his recently released Suncity is uplifting, with gorgeous music. Played once more, listeners will hear the song has lyrical depth: As with many things in life, it’s easy to miss this deeper meaning behind a simple and beautiful exterior.

The key is the lyrical repetition throughout the chorus and the closing verse of the song. That reinforces a sense of uncertainty in Khalid’s message more than it helps make the song catchy. With greater focus on the lyrical message, Khalid stays true to his sound and demonstrates that he has a greater focus on showing his own creative voice than scoring a hit.

That may explain why “Vertigo” was not one of Khalid’s growing list of songs to reach the Billboard Top 50, but it did hit number 89. 

There is something to be said for the consistency in style and mood Khalid brings to his art. Even in his collaborations with other major artists like Logic in “1-800-273-8255” or Halsey in “Eastside,” Khalid’s melodramatic style and thoughtful lyrics hold their own.

“Vertigo” is a great glimpse into the start of this young artist’s career. 

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Rachel is a Journalism and Communications major student in Southern California. She has also studied briefly at Arizona State University. She started her journalism career in high school where she attended and competed in 3 consecutive years at the JEA/NSPA National Higher Journalism Convention. Currently, Rachel is working to finish her degree, and in her free time she enjoys hiking, going to the beach, and fueling her love for coffee and books.

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