Relentless Beats

The Weeknd: Starboy Album Review

The Weeknd, originally Abel Tesfaye, broke into the music scene with the 2011 mixtape House of Balloons. He went on to work with Drake, Wiz Khalifa and others, while building his own career as an artist. In 2015, the Weeknd enjoyed huge success with the album Beauty Behind the Madness, which featured the hit single “Can’t Feel My Face,” and the success of his single “Starboy,” which he has now followed up with it’s album.

The Weeknd – Starboy (official) ft. Daft Punk

The Weeknd may have cleaned up his outrageous hair do, but he hasn’t cleaned up his act on the new album, ‘Starboy.’ His twisted R&B medley’s about getting lit and getting laid have played no small part in his rise from an anonymous mixtape artist to an arena headliner over the last few years. Driving that point home is a song called “Reminder,” in which The Weeknd details his drug habits singing “Faded off a double cup, I’m mixing up the potion” and his bed-hopping ways “I come back to my city, I f— every girl I know.”

Big-name hitmakers like Diplo, Benny Blanco, and returning collaborator Max Martin produced several tracks here, but you wouldn’t know it from listening. A refreshing punk-rock energy surges through “False Alarm,” while dance music kings Daft Punk help him further explore his freaky disco side on the shimmering album closer “I Feel It Coming.”

As the 18 tracks discuss The Weeknds habits, he also lets us in on his work ethic and output. “Secrets” offers a shadowy twist on ’80s new-wave that offers one of Starboy’s catchiest hooks, “Rockin,” a dirty house jam that reunites him with the songwriting team behind “Can’t Feel My Face,” and of course, “Starboy” feat. Daft Punk, the year’s biggest, boldest bragfest are the tracks that stand out most to me.

Starboy’s standout tunes include the ones that directly examine his unlikely rise and its cultural implications. And while musicians writing about coping with newfound celebrity is one of pop’s oldest verses, the Weeknd avoids the usual clichés with his genuine lyrics.

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