Coming off his top-charted album “Beauty Behind the Madness” a little over a year ago, Abel Tesfaye, also known as “The Weeknd,” has released his third studio album: “Starboy” LP.
The album, which was released digitally and on streaming services Nov. 25 and in CD form on Nov. 28th, is set to reach the No. 1 debut on Billboard’s 200 Chart and has shattered Spotify’s record for receiving the most streams in a 24-hour period.
Despite its early success, “Starboy” lacks the originality and uniqueness that was present in his three self-released mixtapes: “Thursday,” “House of Balloons” and “Echoes of Silence.” His raw, dark, drug-induced melodies that pivoted him to stardom dwindles as he embraces a more pop-esque type of music.
The album starts of with “Starboy,” a teaser track that was a hit, followed by the darker yet up-beat “Party Monster” and ends with a “Daft Punk” assisted EDM slow jam that is sensational.
The album is similar to “Beauty Behind the Madness,” but remains slightly distinctive as it incorporates various elements, including upbeat synthesizers, slow jams, disco,1980s electro-funk and EDM.
Though “Starboy” shifts into a mainstream mix of R&B and pop, the content in his lyrics are consistent with The Weeknd’s persona. His angelic voice sings about sex, drugs, women, love and fame.
“Heaven in her mouth, got a hell of a tongue/ Devil on my lap and a cross on my neck” on “Ordinary Life,” and “I just won a new award for a kid show/Talking ‘bout a face numbing off a bag of blow/I’m like goddamn bitch I am not a Teen Choice” – referring to a Nickelodeon award he received for “ I Can’t Feel My Face” – on “ Reminder,” show these trends.
“Starboy” features a small number of artists on a selected group of tracks. “Stargirl Interlude,” featuring Lana Del Rey, has a unique sound with a slow tempo that pairs the two artists well, whereas “Sidewalks,” featuring Kendrick Lamar, is a decent track but nothing exciting.
The strength of the album is dependent on tracks that fuse 1980s electronic, funk and disco into its slow tempo rhythm. The tracks “A Lonely Night,” “Die For You,” “I Feel It Coming” and “Secrets” are a tribute to what makes “The Weeknd” a phenomenal artist and shows a glimpse of the iconic star that he can become.
“Starboy” is a solid album that has a little bit of everything for everyone. Though it falls short from his previous albums, it is redeemed with the tracks that exemplify “The Weeknd’s” strengths. Those looking for songs that are reminiscent of “Trilogy” will be disappointed, but fans who are open to “The Weeknd’s” embracing of mainstream pop stardom will be content with the album and its hidden gems.