Zendaya Coleman is probably best known as Raquel ‘Rocky’ Blue, on the all singing and dancing Disney television show Shake It Up. It’s always inevitable that the stars of these shows are going to go on to try solo singing careers, especially when they sign with Hollywood Records, who are affiliated with Disney. As well as being on Shake It Up, Zendaya has also appeared in Disney movies, been a contestant on America’s Dancing With The Stars 2013, was a fashion model and spent three years dancing in a hip hop troupe. She describes her music as urban pop and has been compared to Rihanna and JoJo, to name a few. Is this 18 year old starlet ready to make the jump into the cut throat music industry with her debut album Zendaya?
The album starts off with the album’s lead single Replay. This mid-tempo pop/r & b song was a hit across the world, and is a highlight on the album. Another highlight is Butterflies; this song is more pop with heavy synth undertones. It has an edgy and sassy vibe, and begins to showcase Zendaya’s vocal range. From butterflies to Fireflies, this song starts with a bang and that’s all the climax we get. It feels as though the song loses momentum halfway through and finds it difficult to pick it back up.
The low points of the album are definitely Putcha Body Down and Heaven Lost An Angel. Putcha Body Down has such a weird melody, and the keys (notes) used just don’t really go together. The lyrics are also dragged out which gives the track a strange rhythm. Heaven Lost An Angel has absolutely ridiculous lyrics, such as: ‘real recognise real’ and ‘so, for real though’. It says that, like, for real. It has quite a lot of repetition which makes the song drag on, and the melody is generic and forgettable.
The lyrics are half the problems with this album. Whilst she may only be 18, Zendaya has quite a mature voice and would have benefitted from songs with more depth. Scared gives the wrong message to girls by stating ‘(I’m) scared of what it feels like to be alone’, whilst My Baby wants to know ‘if you bout that action’. Despite this, My Baby has a pop/urban feel and quite a good melody. Scared is a bit edgy, a bit rock and roll and has an awesome pounding bass line from the drums.
Love You Forever is more of a pure pop song, and whilst it doesn’t stand out as being terrible, it doesn’t stand out as being great either. Only When You’re Close has an electronic vibe and includes big dance breakdowns. It has a great melody, but the lyrics can sometime be drawn out a little too long.
Zendaya is a bit of a mixed bag. There is no denying that Zendaya has talent, but the songs given to her for this album did not work in her favour. In a world full of talented starlets trying to make their mark, I’m unsure whether this debut album makes the cut.