Mark Montgomery French: Toronto’s premier Michael Jackson cosplayer has advanced his visual brand while parking his music in the summer of 1984. That was a superlative year for the dark side of danceable new wave, a mighty sound that casts a shadow on the Weeknd’s admirable forgery. But if I wanted a Depeche Mode-ish club banger about uneasy relationships, I’d go to the source. 1984 was also a popular time for slasher movies, and his blood-splattered music video casts him as the knife-wielding smooth criminal. Innovatively this video is part of an unannounced serialized narrative, a tale of toxic fame that runs through music videos, television appearances, and mini-movies. [6/10]
Rich Wilhelm: “In Your Eyes” is the third single from the Weeknd’s new album, After Hours, and the first released after the album’s 20 March debut. The Weeknd fully embraced his love of new wave ’80s pop on the first two singles, and “In Your Eyes” continues the trend. It’s a big catchy tune with a sax solo that Spandau Ballet would kill for. Speaking of killing, the video for “In Your Eyes” continues to follow the adventures of the red-jacketed hard-partying persona the Weeknd has been portraying throughout the promotional lead-up to After Hours. Although, now the decadence of Mr. Red Jacket has morphed into ’80s slasher flick insanity. While the “In Your Eyes” video seems to mark the end of the Man in the Red Jacket, those ’80s movies have taught us nothing if they haven’t taught us that you never fully dismiss knife-wielding maniacs. Stay tuned. [7/10]
Jessica Brant: “In Your Eyes” feels like the obsessive longing the Weeknd writes of on “Pretty” from his 2013 album Kiss Land transformed into a movie. The story glistens with the entertaining qualities that made fans fall in love with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video with the same omnipotence. A chilling tale with a redemptive and hilarious plot twist and great acting from model and Vogue writer Zainna Miuccia, who finds herself at the epicenter of it all. [9/10]
Mick Jacobs: A funky, electro-thumper that’s pretty much like everything else right now. Coupled with the Weeknd’s now decades-old trope of depraved romantics, this song fits perfectly into the current moment; outside of it, it may not fare as well. [6/10]
Michael Elliott: A visually stunning throwback to the glory days of MTV (especially “Thriller”), the Weeknd revels in his love of ’80s textures and visuals as he turns the slasher genre on its head. [7/10]
Semassa Boko: I still miss that old mixtape Weeknd, but this newer stuff is fun. Feels like a chaotic ’80s mayhem dance scene, and the video reflects that. One interesting element I’ll have to look into more is the Weeknd’s broken and bandaged nose. It’s an odd touch amidst the images of sharp blades and blood dripping from faces and walls. [7/10]
Scott Zuppardo: Definitely capturing a killer ’80s vibe complete with sax and a “Thriller”-esque video, I dig it. This dude is on his own cosmonaut plane of modern-day discotheque. [7/10]
“In Your Eyes” appears on the Weeknd’s After Hours.