Friday, May 22nd, 2020

The Weeknd – In Your Eyes

It’s no surprise…


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: The majority of “In Your Eyes” is just another iteration of Abel Tesfaye’s tried-and-true Michael Jackson pastiche, but there are two specific moments that take this over the top for me. First, and most obviously, major points are deserved for the sax solo which closes out the track: the aural incarnation of sex, intoxication, and drama. And second, not to be overlooked, is the way the chorus builds so slowly and delicately into the post-chorus rush of adrenaline: “I’m blind! I’m blind!” I’m such a sucker for single cycles that cohesively world-build, and the way that moment reinforces the macabre glamour of “Blinding Lights” is nothing short of brilliant.

Tobi Tella: The restraint here is palpable, and even though his signature falsetto is obviously iconic, the chest voice does wonders in differentiating this and giving it weight. Add that sexy sax and it becomes clear that no matter how questionable, misogynistic, or plain sad the lyrics are, I’ll always be here for him serenading me.

Alex Clifton: You’ve got Max Martin’s melodic math, some great disco/synth beats, and a ripping sax solo at the end. Do you need anything else?

Katherine St Asaph: “Africa”-biting, expensive-sounding-soundsing, half-ass-saxed, barely-bothering-with-mournful yacht pop. I’d rather be on the Diamond Princess.

Pedro João Santos: It does boggle me how Max Martin gives Abel such a weak, liminal song during an era that’s touted as his strongest bid for mainstream ascendancy. For Martin, it’s a self-disservice to pop-by-numbers, which is his bread and butter, but sounds less like his pride and joy. “In Your Eyes” musters up all that’s expected from 80s-revivalist midtempo, which is more to do with the production hitting all the dopamine beats: it might be a ghost of a hook, embarrassingly scraggy, but the synth rush to go along, though canned, might be a catalyst for boppery. An exhibition of songwriting mastery this is not, more so a troubling decay next to “Blinding Lights”, and a missed opportunity to Make The World Go “Fucking Hell” when it’s already on your side. Pop stars without the willingness to pull the rug from audiences, 80s without the verve — this remake sucks.

Alfred Soto: So it’s not a Peter Gabriel cover? Doesn’t the new The 1975 single employ the same saxophonist? Have these dudes been listening to the same Glass Tiger comp? Grant Matt Healy this: he may have prolix ideas about bedding women, but they’re original.

Scott Mildenhall: Obviously musicians should have edges and feel no need to compromise their artistic impulses or devotion to expelling the depths of their psyche into audio, but the exception proves the rule. The Weeknd’s tones are dulcet here, as he gently allows his addressee to contain multitudes, and himself to be a conduit for a slick retro-futurism with which he is more at home than almost anyone.

Katie Gill: Hey gang, it’s The Weeknd continuing to do his 1980s-inspired shtick that he’s done for the past few months! Who’d’ve thought this would happen except literally everybody? This honestly feels like “Blinding Lights Redux”, which is probably why it got released as a single as half of America still hears “Blinding Lights” when they turn on their car radio. Frankly, this is inoffensive and fun enough that it too shall probably become a radio fixture. At least, I hope it does just so it can be another nail in the coffin of The Weeknd’s sadboy shtick. He’s much more fun when he’s having fun.

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