I cannot help but think about the current world that these songs have been created in and wonder if it somehow provides the permission to explore new beginnings. Whether it be Lorde’s turn to the sun, Taylor Swift’s exploration of a more delicate sound or Tame Impala’s embracing synth-pop. The wonder if this album would have occurred? As with Chris Deville, I wonder if this is the start of something larger for Reznor and Ross?
It’s emblematic of a collaboration that should please Halsey fans and Nine Inch Nails fans alike, one that has me eager to see the NIN braintrust take on more projects like this. (I say this as someone who likes Jack Antonoff just fine: Imagine if Trent Reznor became the new Jack Antonoff.)
Maybe one for Abel Tesfaye?
given that fellow ’80s devotee the Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” just became the most successful Hot 100 single of all time, maybe Antonoff doesn’t have to wait for a cultural sea change. Forget Billie Eilish and Phoebe Bridgers — put this man in the studio with Abel Tesfaye and let the neon nostalgia flow.
The record itself has a tight, internal focus: It’s about walking the line between self-preservation and self-destruction, control and compulsion, the thrill and terror of getting what you want. Instead of sieving these themes through an elaborate architecture, Halsey lets horror—of the body, of the mind, of mortality—radiate outward. The result is alluring and spectral.