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Review: Halsey Changes Gears With Weeknd Collaboration ‘Eyes Closed’

Variety logo Variety 5/4/2017 Jem Aswad
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Eyes Closed


This track, the second single from Halsey’s forthcoming sophomore album,“hopeless fountain kingdom,” shows a side of the singer we haven’t really seen before. It’s a collaboration with The Weeknd and although it does reprise the vibe of her breakout single “Ghost,” this one actually has more in common with his work than hers. That’s not a criticism — the change of pace suits her, as does his trademark wistful, hazy sound and bittersweet regret in the lyrics (“If I keep my eyes closed he feels just like you”) and melody. There’s little of the trap trappings or sass of her 2015 debut or the generation definition of “The New Americana” or even the Rihanna-isms of the album’s first single “Now or Never.” Despite its distinctive Weeknd-ish feel, there were three other strong collaborators on the song: Producers Benny Blanco (Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber), Happy Perez (Mariah Carey, Tory Lanez, G-Eazy) and dance-music titan Cashmere Cat.

It’s a left-field but strong lead-in for “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom,” which is due on June 2 and sees Astralwerks/Capitol poising the singer to make a big step up in stature. On Wednesday, they announced an eight-week North American headlining tour in support of the album, launching on Sept. 29, and tonight she’ll appear on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” to perform “Now or Never.”

Listen to the track below:

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