Words from the Writer
Hey, what’s up my people. I’m back again with another music review. This album titled “Starboy” by Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd. this album was released pretty fast considering his last album “Beauty Behind the Madness” was released last year. That album had a lot of really good tracks on it. You might remember “Earned It” in the movie Fifty Shades of Grey. For me, “Beauty Behind the Madness” put him on on my radar.
I mean I knew who he was, but didn’t really listen to his music until that album dropped. So, I mainly started listening to him after his whole mixtape phase. Honestly, I feel that Abel has been working his ass off to really get on top. Did this album really meet my expectations or the expectations of other followers?
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (born 16 February 1990), known professionally as The Weeknd (pronounced “the weekend”), is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer. In late 2010, Tesfaye anonymously uploaded several songs to YouTube under the name “The Weeknd”. He released three nine-track mixtapes throughout 2011: House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence, which were critically acclaimed. The following year, he released a compilation album Trilogy, thirty tracks consisting of the remastered mixtapes and three additional songs. It was released under Republic Records and his own label XO.
He released three nine-track mixtapes throughout 2011: House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence, which were critically acclaimed. The following year, he released a compilation album Trilogy, thirty tracks consisting of the remastered mixtapes and three additional songs. It was released under Republic Records and his own label XO.
In 2013, he released his debut studio album Kiss Land, which was supported by the singles “Kiss Land” and “Live For”. His second album, Beauty Behind the Madness, which became his first number one album on the US Billboard 200, included the top-three single “Earned It” and produced the number-one singles “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face”. The songs have simultaneously held the top three spots on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart, making him the first artist in history to achieve this.
The Weeknd has won two Grammy Awards and has been nominated for an Academy Award. In September 2016, the release of the third album, Starboy was announced, along with the release of the single “Starboy”.
To start, I did go into this album with high hopes right from the start. The intro track “Starboy” is seriously the best track on the album for me. It’s a great collaboration with the famous Daft Punk. I would even go as far to say that in the pop world, this may be the best track of the year. I mean I’m a Daft Punk fan, and you hear their influence all through the track. The track and the music video convey a story about a person who is consumed by success. “False Alarm” is another one of my favorite tracks. It’s definitely a dance hit. But I will say that the track doesn’t really fit in with the whole album, it’s just so different.
I like how “Reminder” talks about him winning awards at the Teen Choice awards, but it’s not something he even wanted. I really found it pretty funny. It’s like he has to embrace the fact that his audience has expanded into areas he wasn’t expecting.
Now, “Sidewalk” featuring Kendrick Lamar is actually pretty good. I’m not a big Kendrick Lamar fan anymore (due to sell-out reasons) but I did enjoy this track. I will say that Kendrick killed his verse. But I won’t give the same props to Lana Del Rey in the track “Starlight Interlude”. I mean it was good, but the vocals were not something I expected to hear in this +1 min track (seriously it’s like 1:52 seconds). But it does give a good transition into “Sidewalks”
Now “A Lonely Night”, this track vaguely reminded me of the Michael Jackson influence Abel is known for. I do like the beat and lyrics, It’s just a classic sad love story, I think that is what Abel does so well, and that is what’s going to keep him up there right now.
This album felt like it was all over the place. No tracks were pretty consistent following each other. Felt like listening to an album set on random. The tracks all have a similar sad vibe throughout the album. The album lyrics seem to always explore the mindset of him thinking about girls he’s trying to sleep with or just describing girls he’s attracted to. With lyrics like “Bathroom stalls for the powder nose (she loves), High heel shoes with the open toes (she loves), She’s got a good time wrapped in gold (she loves) For you, for you” you can see the type of girl he’s searching for. but then lyrics like “She gets off all the time, It’s a dark philosophy” tell that she isn’t the one for him. It’s actually a type of girl he wants to avoid but is still attracted to at the same time.
Honestly, these lyrics are morphed into other shapes in tracks like “False Alarm”, “Reminder”, and “True colors”. Some tracks I just couldn’t get into much. This includes tracks “Love to Lay” “Die for you”and “Attention”. I mean at this point, his content feelings are on repeat. Just beating a dead horse with the girl you like but don’t like. I will say that I like the experimental sounds and back up vocals used on some tracks. But it was really a hit or miss. Might be too experimental for those wanting the slow jams.
Overall I really did like this album. If we were back in the 90’s these would be the slow songs you hear in the school gym dances. The album “Starboy” is a great addition to his discography. It’s hard to pinpoint any negative details that didn’t deliver a great experience, but I did my best to exploit flaws I heard. I recommend this album to anyone who likes Hip hop, indie rap, and pop or music with great lyrics. Listen to it right here on Spotify. Also, their new album can be purchased on Amazon.
Like or hate the review I did? Have a question, comment, or concern? Let me know in the comment below. Don’t forget to also check out other music reviews on The EXP Grind.
- Great collaboration with the famous "Daft Punk"
- I will say that Kendrick Lamar killed his verse
- Some tracks vaguely reminded me of the Michael Jackson influence Abel is known for
- Felt like listening to an album set on random
- Just beating a dead horse with the girl you like but don't like
- Might be too experimental for those wanting the slow jams.