Zayn Malik has been teasing the rollout of his new album as “mysterious” and “different than anything anyone has done before.” So far, he’s released a lead single called “Let Me” with an accompanying (and embarrassingly bad) music video and now we have the follow up single, “Entertainer,” complete with another (less embarrassing but still bad) music video. Groundbreaking. 

The only unique thing about this rollout so far is that the music videos appear to be continuations of each other. Except that has been done before – Usher did it better with Confessions. I like the idea of Zayn finding a creative way to unveil this new album instead of a traditional press tour with talk show appearances and live performances considering what we know about his struggle with anxiety. I like the idea in theory. In reality, he’s delivered two music videos that are mysterious, yes, but more confusing than alluring. They aren’t exactly creating the same excitement or buzz for the album that I’m sure he was hoping for. 

Lainey asked me to explain the “Entertainer” video to her because I am “so young.” Apparently, I’m not that young because I don’t get it either. I understand this video about as much as I understand the new season of Westworld. That means not at all. I don’t understand it at all. What I have gathered, since “Entertainer” stars Sofia Jamora, the same Gigi Hadid lookalike model from his last music video, and features flashbacks to scenes from “Let Me,” is that it’s supposed to be what happens after the To Be Continued of the last video. Sofia Jamora’s character is now an adult entertainer (stripper, private dancer, dancer for money, etc) who gets to make out with Zayn a lot and that’s really all I can gather. The good news is that there are no acting interludes in this video. However, we do still have to watch Zayn attempt to emote. 

It’s a good thing he’s so pretty. Once again, the music video detracts from how solid the song is. I really like “Entertainer.” It’s sultry and angsty – two of Zayn’s defining characteristics – and it fits nicely with the current pop/ R&B charts dominated by Daniel Caesar, Khalid and The Weeknd. Even though, as Lainey put it, Zayn “slurs his singing,” I’m still down. To me, it sounds like he’s singing “what you need the most is a high realtor” over and over so now all I can picture is a high Zayn trying to sell real estate to retired couples in Florida. What he’s actually singing is: 

Never seen you comin', I'll turn you down
When you need me the most, I will turn you
When you need me the most, I will turn you down

This man really needs to ENUNCIATE. Zayn stans are speculating that these lyrics give insight into his tumultuous relationship with Gigi. OK, sure, but now that they are probably back together, what does that mean? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

In the interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1 Radio where Zayn talked about his album rollout, he alluded to the fact that there will be more confusing music videos leading up to its release. 

“I think it’s all going to make sense in the end when the album finally drops.”

That’s comforting. Based on these two lead singles (not including the Sia-featured track “Dusk Till Dawn” which doesn’t seem to be on the album), the album sounds promising. I just wish these sh-tty music videos weren’t distracting from the promise of the album. 

Watch “Entertainer” below. Come for Zayn’s bleach-blonde hair, stay for his cheekbones.