Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the last few years, Halsey is a name you’ve definitely heard at some point or another. The 22-year-old singer-songstress has been making perfectly-polished, often-enjoyable unoriginal pop music for years now, from 2014’s Room 93 EP to her full-length 2015 debut Badlands to her inescapable #1 hit “Closer” with The Chainsmokers all the way up to “Now Or Never,” the lead single off of her upcoming sophomore album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (due out June 2).
Aside from “Closer,” I haven’t properly written about Halsey yet – and there’s a few reasons why. For starters, this moment she yelled at her fans and told them to “stop being mean” to her is embarrassing and telling on all counts. Second, most of her music sounds like reinterpretations of other artists (yes, I get this happens often in music in general – but shouldn’t a newer act have something a little different to offer as well?). And third, in a personality sense, she just rubs me the wrong way (I either like you or I don’t, period.)
With all that said, I really don’t want to make this a post about the problems I have with Halsey. Halsey is not someone I see myself stanning for anytime soon, but I at least respect her hustle, appreciate her voice and the thought she puts into her visuals. It’s a hate/love relationship.
“Eyes Closed” is Haley‘s latest – co-written by The Weeknd, produced by Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat and Happy Perez; it’s an intoxicatingly dark, downtempo number that is as dreamy as it is sinister. “Now if I keep my eyes closed, he looks just like you/ But he’ll never stay, they never do/ Now if I keep my eyes closed, he feels just like you/ But you’ve been replaced/ I’m face to face with someone new,” she sings on the atmospheric track all about having feelings for an ex-lover while in a new relationship.
It maintains The Weeknd‘s signature moody stylings throughout, from the lyrical theme to the way she’s singing to the spook-R&B production, it’s signature The Weeknd from start-to-finish. And, sure, that doesn’t qualify the song as bad at all (I LOVE The Weeknd and actually think this song is quite good), but it sure does prove my point that Halsey isn’t bringing anything new or fresh to the table. “Now or Never” borrows melodies from Rihanna‘s “Needed Me,” and “Eyes Closed” is unapologetically The Weeknd. I’m just trying to understand the hype here folks.. until then, I’ll be here clocking her every move. Love always, Jon ALi.