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Zayn 'Befour' Review: New 'Mind of Mine' Song Channels R&B, Synths and One Direction Split

by Carolyn Menyes   Mar 17, 2016 11:02 AM EDT

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Zayn Malik has broken away from One Direction, and it'd be silly to imagine he won't be singing about his former boy band on his debut album Mind of Mine. Just a little over a week before his record's release date, on Thursday (March 17), Zayn finally released his long-anticipated new song "Befour."

It's not a stretch to imagine that "Befour" is about Zayn's time in One Direction. From the title itself (which references a time gone by and the new 1D foursome), that should have been obvious. The lyrics continue to tell the story of a man who has finally broken out on his own.

"Time for me to move up / So many hours have gone / Heart beats the pump of my blood / No strings for you to pull on / You've got your tongue in your cheek / So pardon if I don't speak," Zayn sings in the song's second verse. Other lyrics such as "So say what you wanna say, what you want / Shame is you won't say that to my face," reference the distance that Zayn has previously mentioned between himself and his former bandmates.

Musically, "Befour" falls in line with the pop-infused R&B that Zayn has been rolling out leading up to the Mind of Mine release. Mixing together synth-y pop and soul, "Befour" sounds remarkably like something Robin Thicke would have produced (before he got all skeezy and, later, desperate).

"Befour" is, fittingly, the fourth song to be released from Zayn's forthcoming debut album Mind of Mine, which is due for release on Friday, March 25. "Befour" follows the release of "Pillowtalk," "It's You" and "Like I Would."

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