REVIEW: Bilal Hassani – Kingdom

Something good for your playlist!

Bilal Hassani dropped his anticipated first studio album called Kingdom. The 19-year-old singer released his album which contains 14 songs and has a total length of 43 minutes. The album is released under the label Low Wood. Bilal wrote on every song on his first album. He wrote together with Medeline who also wrote on his Eurovision song “Roi”, which is not part of Kingdom. However, Madame Monsieur, who also helped to create the ESC entry for France this year, wrote with Bilal and Medeline on some songs on Kindom. The album kicks off with the best fitting song for that. Welcome to my Kingdom is a 1:18min opening with Bilal welcome the listeners to his Kingdom. It features a great beat, great bass and catchy lyrics who set you right in the mood for what is about to happen! Panic is coming afterward as the first full-length song of the album. Lyrics are a mix of English and French. The track has a unique electric power sound which sounds epic. Please put your headphone in! With the song and the lyrics, you get the exact feeling Bilal wanted to transfer to the audience with this tune. Poison is the third song on the LP and the first song completely in English. Previously released promo songs Jaloux and Fais beleck are also part of the songs and are as flawless as the other songs. With every track, wigs are flying further. The Flow, Boom X3 and You Should Have Let Me Love You are the three songs co-written by Madame Monsieur. In all three songs, you can see the musical influence and how well they write together. Especially You Should Have Let Me Love You is such a perfect song to end the album with a powerful song. Bilal’s first album Kingdom is a strong full-length album. The tracks have electric influences, are lyrical very personal and unique and most importantly, the whole album delivers 100% Bilal!
  • Basic – This song is just empowering and wig snatching like I love Bilal. I can totally see him performing the hell out of this song and the chorus is just so powerful with the trumpets in the background. I need a full orchestra on stage here. Also, love the lyrics here very much.
  • Fais beleck – Bilal was once again very smart in releasing this song as a promo song for the album including a full music video. The feeling, the moves in the video and the beats are a

What did they say?  Kingdom reviewed by fellow ESCXTRA team members

As well as myself, a few other editors in the ESCXTRA team gave the album a whirl.  Here is what they thought of Bilal’s debut.

Lisa Bird

One of the most anticipated albums of this current Eurovision season in Kingdom is finally out. I gave this a listen on release for our recent New Music Friday feature and was blown away by the consistent quality of both Bilal’s connection to the songs and the way the album flows as a cohesive body of work. More often than not those end up being my favourite albums for repeated listens. As the songs have the ability to work as a collective playlist. Don’t let the cohesive flow of French electro chansons fool you though. There is still a lot of genre fusion and production interplay at work here to keep fans of ‘Roi’ happy and appeal to a new audience. From the tropical elements in ‘Qui cala?’ and ‘You Should Have Let Me Love You’ to the popular urban tones in ‘Jaloux’ and ‘Dans mon seum’, as well the anthemic vibes of ‘Famous’. Nothing feels like filler which can happen on lengthy albums. Each song belongs and has a purpose in the story arc of this passage of Bilal’s life being told here.
  • Qui cala? – One of my favourites as it appeals to my appetite for tropical beats with an urban edge. However we have a more end of the night chill out vibe in ‘Qui cala?’, the slightly relaxed nature of the production suits the laid back vocals Bilal is presenting here. Behind the seemingly cool style of this song lies a story of pain and a troubled youth of being suppressed and bullied. But the overall goal is that whilst you’ll have the memories, you know you’re the better person and need to live your life for now. “Demain vis ta vie à fond. N’écoute jamais les cons.”
  • Fais beleck – This stood out to me straight away. The angry rapid expression of the French lyrics flowing with the pulsing dark electronic drum beats. That catchy hook combined with the breakdown is an instant ear-worm. The anger is warranted as Bilal explains his frustration over being in a relationship where he wasn’t appreciated or allowed to be himself. Whilst taking ownership of the situation and the empowerment of realising guys like aren’t worth the effort.
  • Basic – Most people would describe my music tastes as basic. So a song actually called ‘Basic’ was naturally going to be my favourite on the album. This is the feet to the dance floor call to arms with the familiar club riff from Tinie Tempah’s ‘Girls Like’ as the dance beats blast through the chorus. This is the most Franglais song on the album, but the blend works and helps drive the message of the song. It’s the opposite of basic, reminding everyone to embrace whoever they want to be and live your best life while thrusting your hips to this utter banger.

Tim Jumawan

I know how all of Bilal’s fans have been waiting for his debut album. When he gave us a sample at the London Eurovision Party of what to expect (in the form of Jaloux) after seeing what he is capable of, I was excited to see what he can come up with. Overall, it is a very cohesive album and I like how he has gone around and used a variety of genres, and you can really see how much effort has been put into it.
  • Jaloux – This was the first track I listened to from the album and the one he performed at the London Eurovision Party. I love how upbeat he was performing it and I really like the meaning behind it.
  • Basic – Be Fantastic!!! I love how he is owning it on this track and it has such appeal and its just so infectious that you just cannot help to just dance along.
  • The Flow – Out of all the upbeat songs there’s this wonderful slow track that stands out.  I love how emotive he is on this track and how he tells us how the wave carry us, wherever that may be..

Dominik Rössing

Hey, I'm Dominik from Germany. Watched my first Eurovision in 2003 and I was in love right away! Attended my first contest in 2011 and every contest since 2013. The same happened with Melodifestivalen. Started watching in 2006 and been to every final since 2017 and try to make it to at least one heat each year, too. After all, Melodifestivalen is the real deal ♥

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