ZAYN’s discography (which includes his first album, Mind of Mine, which hit No. 1 on the charts, thankyouverymuch, as well as his lengthy 2018 release, Icarus Falls, which clocks in at 27 tracks total) is one packed with sultry vibes and confessional lyrics and serves up with some unbridled honesty and a refreshing bluntness. So, in honor of his 26th birthday (Jan. 12), we singled out 26 of our favorite ZAYN lyrics. Read on!
1. “I go where you go / Go through Armageddon / Girl I got you / Theres no goodbyes only us / So I will follow” - “Flight of the Stars”
“Flight of the Stars” follows the notion of someone’s willingness to go to great lengths for the person they love -- including, as ZAYN says, Armageddon.
2. “You thought you had me, didn't you? / When you lied to my face, I could see the truth / Every step of the way I knew / How you fooled me, boo” - “Entertainer”
ZAYN makes it known that he was well aware his SO was attempting to play him for a fool in this biting track.
3. “Heart beats the pump of my blood / No strings for you to pull on” - “Befour”
We love how this one not only references the pull of heartstrings, but also the metaphor of a puppetmaster controlling one’s heart.
4. “It’s a paradise / And it’s a war zone” - “Pillowtalk”
ZAYN’s No. 1 single is easily one of the strongest tracks on the album, and the juxtaposition of the bedroom as a place of pleasure and pain (are we sure this isn’t the one written for Fifty Shades?) makes this song get under your skin.
5. “You’re like a commotion all because of me” - “Bordersz”
There may be some cockiness going on here, but we love the idea of describing someone as a “commotion.” If that’s not an onomatopoeia word, it certainly should be.
6. “I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home” - “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” (feat. Taylor Swift)
ZAYN’s collaboration with Taylor Swift flaunted his falsetto vocals like no other. And this lyric in particular strikes a chord — anyone who has ever been in love has felt this level of desperation.
7. “Saw your face and got inspired” - “It’s You”
WE’LL BE YOUR MUSE, ZAYN.
8. “This ain't my scene / This wasn't my dream” - “Truth”
“Truth” probably should’ve been called “Truth Bombs,” since this is really what ZAYN dropped on this track. Another blisteringly candid admission about his time in 1D.
9. “Don’t think because you’re with me this is real” - “Wrong”
“Wrong” easily contains some of the most sexually explicit lyrics on Mind of Mine, but this one is nothing but heartbreakingly honest.
10. “I found my life between a first kiss and a last goodbye” - “Bright”
Sigh. Haven’t we all?
11. “I’m tired of looking at myself / In my rear view” - “Rear View”
Coming to the realization that it’s time to move on and start looking forward is a powerful one — and the imagery of the rear view mirror is the perfect metaphor.
12. “We're so late nights / Red eyes, amnesia, on ice” - “Drunk”
“We’re so late nights” is the one that really sticks out here, and ZAYN sets the scene for those hazy flings that only happen in clubs or in the steaminess of summer.
13. “I’m sippin’ on that pink Lucozade / We’re blazing on that newfound haze” - “Lucozade”
Sometimes lyrics are profound. Other times, they just make you crave a sports drink.
14. “I need somebody to / Love me blue” - “Blue”
Blue is a color often associated with sadness, but this line makes it seem like ZAYN desires for someone to love him so much he’s almost suffocating under it.
15. “Taste your sweet profanity” - “Bordersz”
Lovin’ the juxtaposition in this lyric. Profanity is often classified as bad or dirty, so to see it described as “sweet” — it definitely brings in a sexual element.
16. “I love to hold you close, tonight and always / I love to wake up next to you” - Pillowtalk
For all the blatant references to sex on Mind of Mine, this line is just romance incarnate.
17. “Let’s get naked and explore / Our inner secrets” - “TIO”
Anddd then there’s this one from “TIO” (an acronym for “take it off”), which really just gets straight to the point. While the chorus of this track is much more blunt (ZAYN repeats “take it off” more than a handful of times), this line is a touch more poetic.
18. “Can’t tune my chords into your song” - “Befour”
Not to be too overanalytical here, but the “four” in “Befour” is maybe, probably, most likely a pointed reference at 1D’s Four, their last album before ZAYN left the group. And with this lyric so obviously about music — and on a more deeper level, about not wanting to fit into the mold — it certainly seems like another message to One Direction.
19. “I question myself all the time” - “She Don’t Love Me”
Here’s to the debilitating anxiety that everyone experiences when they are unsure if their partner is still in love with them or not. “I question myself all the time” is honestly a hallmark of anxiety, and it’s meaningful to see the singer open up about his own struggles in his music.
20. “When you just try to find your way / But you can’t find the time / I’ll come for you” - “Who”
Not that any of ZAYN’s girlfriends have ever needed “saving” (see: that time Gigi Hadid handled an attack all fine just by herself), it’s still romantic to know that he’ll support them.
21. “She puts her mouth round the cigarette / I put it out ‘cause she likes that” - “She”
Sometimes ZAYN crafts lyrics that are more descriptive than blunt, and every time he does it, we appreciate it even more. This one just paints a picture in your head.
22. “This love is tainted / I need you and I hate it” - “Fool For You”
Many of the lyrics on Mind of Mine deal with conflicting desires and juxtaposed imagery, and this one describes that internal struggle to a T.
23. “My own mind was in the way / Front seat, new view” - Truth
There’s no way this lyric doesn’t refer to One Direction, and it speaks to new beginnings. This time, ZAYN’s the one in the driver’s seat.
24. “Am I wrong for wanting us to make it?” - “It’s You”
The way ZAYN croons this lyric so mournfully adds to its brilliant simplicity.
25. “Bright lights / But she’s fading” - “She”
Another lyric filled with warring truths, this one is reminiscent of those late nights when your night is done. It sounds much more eloquent when put in his words, doesn’t it?
26. “Can your heart be mine in search?” - “Rear View”
Yes, young Zaint Valentine, FIND OUR HEART IN YOUR SEARCH. This Shakespearian-esque lyric is totally going on a candy heart.
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