Starboy Review – The Weeknd Falls Flat, Though The Album Is Exponentially Better Than Beauty
A trend with The Weeknd’s work seems that with every project of his, the tone is set by its introductory song. His cover of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana” capitalized on the ominous sound throughout Echoes of Silence, while the mundaneness of “Real Life” was carried throughout his Grammy nominated Beauty Behind the Madness. Disappointingly, that’s not the case with his newest album, Starboy as I explain below in my Starboy review.
The album kicks off with the Daft Punk produced title track, a marvelous ode to his luxurious lifestyle, which is one of my favorite songs that’s been released this year. In his recent Zane Lowe interview The Weeknd explained that the song was inspired by his new love of cars and his McLaren P1, which made an appearance in the music video. The intro leads into “Party Monster”, another dark and dazed anthem, which turns out to be one of the few highlights on this primarily monotonous LP.
Now don’t get me wrong, I consider this project to be exponentially better than Beauty, solely because the project’s eerie theme is one that is far more entertaining than that of his previous project. Another track I find myself replaying is “Reminder” where he says ‘I just won a new award for a kids show/Talkin’ ’bout a face numbin’ off a bag of blow’ referring to the Kids Choice Award he won for “Can’t Feel My Face”. The fact that one of the biggest songs of his career to date was all about coke still shocks me.
Other moments on this project that caught my attention were songs like “Rockin”, which is easily one of the grooviest fucking songs I’ve heard all year long. The smooth production mixed with the voice warp on the second verse is insanely catchy. “All I Know” is a song very reminiscent of the old Weeknd and reminds me of “Professional” off Kiss Land and if it wasn’t for Future’s horrendous verse the track would call for even more nostalgia. “Die For You” is another powerful gem where Abel’s vocals and Cashmere Cat’s production shines as bright as it does through the whole album.
Let me try and find a way to analogize this; The Weeknd is Steph Curry. This album is a 3 and the basket is the pop mainstream. It almost seems as if whatever shot Tesfaye takes, he seems to make it right where I’d never think he would reach. Although I personally consider this project to be a major upgrade from 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness, I’m left hoping that the title track set a tone for Starboy itself.
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