Someone should really be checking the blood pressure of Zayn Malik stans, because the lead up to the launch of his second album — still without a date, a name, or any other details to sustain us — is getting more thrilling by the day. And on Friday, in his classic nonchalant style, Zayn not only promised that the album was impending, but also dropped a full-length, perfectly polished cover from the back catalogue of the queen herself — none other than Ms Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter. But which song was plucked from the canon of Yoncé to feature on Zayn Malik's new album?
Zayn's latest single, "Entertainer", went down the moodily sexy route, so maybe something from 2013's Beyoncé would suit? Or how about a track from 4, to match the optimistic romance of "Let Me"? Nope — turns out Zayn took it way back to Bey's 2003 solo debut, Dangerously in Love, to cover "Me, Myself and I". The track was Beyoncé's third single from the album, and took her to number four on the charts. So will Zayn's take lead to similar success?
As a fully paid up, every lyric memorised, once spent a whole day sobbing to the "Die With You" video member of the Beyhive, I'd be abandoning the core tenet of my religion to suggest that anything could compare to a Beyoncé performance. But I'm perfectly willing to concede that Zayn's cover is pretty nice — it's fairly faithful to the original, and demonstrates his not-to-be-sniffed-at vocal talents. You can give it a listen below.
It looks like he's switched up the lyrics a little, though, shifting some of the blame for the failing relationship the song addresses onto his own shoulders. "So dumb and naive to believe that with you I'm a changed man," he sings, continuing, "Foolish of you to compete when I cheat with loose women." Is this a confession, Zayn? And by "loose women," I'm absolutely choosing to believe you're referring to the legends of ITV.
So how has the internet received Zayn's latest offering? Well, the stans seem more than satisfied, with many praising his voice:
That's not to say the reception was unanimously positive, however. The Beyhive's standards are high, and not everyone thought Zayn's cover was up to scratch — particularly when it came to his vocals.
Quick sidebar: now seems like a pretty good time to pay your respects to the original and greatest, regardless of your opinion of Zayn's take.
OK, back to Zayn. What do we know of his album so far? Painfully little, it turns out. He told Zane Lowe, as The Fader reports, that he's "trying to keep it as mysterious as possible", but that there's a whole plan in the works. "It's going to be different to I think anything anyone has done before, I don't think has done it this way," he said. "So it's going to be interesting to see how the audience react to this kind of release but wanted to try something different. And I think it's all going to make sense in the end when the album finally drops." Plus, earlier this month, he confirmed to GQ that he'll be touring his second album, something he avoided when he released Mind of Mine. And honestly? That's pretty much all we have to go on at present.
For the time being, this release should keep his fans going — plus, for those hungry for celebrity gossip, there's plenty to dissect in his changes to the lyrics, potentially with regard to one Gigi Hadid. But Zayn, if you do fancy dropping the album at any point soon, I highly doubt anyone would complain.
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