Abel Tesfaye or better known by his stage name, The Weeknd, recently released his third studio album. Different from his past endeavors, this time The Weeknd recruited the help of Daft Punk. The help of this musically powerful duo not only keeps things fresh, but it gives something I didn’t even know I wanted. I had always made the connection between The Weeknd and late great Michael Jackson, but with Daft Punk’s 80’s and 90’s inspired beats it’s like the soul of MJ was reincarnated to make the album for our generation.
The first and most obvious thing that I noticed was the difference in the first and second half of the record. With the exception of Party Monster. the first half of this album leans more toward the pop side of Abel’s talent pool. False Alarm, Secrets, and True Colors contain no explicit language, so it’s clear they’re intended for the radio, but that doesn’t make them any less than fantastic. False Alarm is unique, it reminds me of some the 80’s house music that my mom listens to, yet the modern twist that both parties put on it makes me absolutely love this track, from the opening lines to the chorus, this song is a welcomed change from the growingly stale pop music that has dominated the radio for too long. “Secrets” samples 80’s pop/rock band “Tears for Fears” and it is absolutely amazing, As this type of track was expected, I found my self falling in love with it in a way I never thought I would, it’s fantastic to say the least. The second half of the album features the darker and grittier side of The Weeknd that his long time fans seem to favor. It starts with “Sidewalks” which feels like a track where Abel is telling everyone that he needed no help getting to the position he’s in now, something that could only be done by a “starboy.” I could go into detail about every song on this masterpiece, but I feel like I would be doing you a disservice, as the magical moment when you first experience each song is a thing of beauty.
There isn’t a single bad track on this album, and it’s almost a fact considering the entire album has made it into the Hot 100. The Weeknd broke his own record, and became the most streamed artist in one day on Spotify, with just over 40 million. The leading song “Starboy” has been number one on Hot 100 for the last ten weeks. This album will not go down as one of The Weeknd’s biggest accomplishments, but also one of the biggest successes in R&B to date. As it seems Abel can only get better, I’m excited to see what the king of the fall turned starboy has in store for us next. - Mason Jones