It’s just over a week (November 28th to be exact) until The Weeknd’s new album, Starboy, drops. The first two singles ‘Starboy’ and ‘False Alarm’ have taken The Weeknd in different directions. ‘Starboy’, rather unusually for The Weeknd, operated at a steady mid-tempo but its success in the charts globally fights the corner for Tesfaye’s ongoing pop renaissance. The pulsating ‘False Alarm’ was met with mixed reviews, putting off some listeners with its jarring production.
But for the second Daft Punk collaboration ‘I Feel It Coming’, we find The Weeknd softening, slinking along romantically over intimate, groove-laden bass lines. Daft Punk’s meticulous touch helps The Weeknd to achieve another masterstroke, evoking strong memories of their mega hit ‘Get Lucky’. Perhaps the only downside is that this track has come two or three months too late. The breezy production, offset by summery synths and a relaxed tempo, would’ve made a summer anthem out of ‘I Feel It Coming’. Notably, The Weeknd’s lyricism is much more considerate and implicit too, as opposed to the shadow of self-loathing that has hung gloomily over his tracks in the past. If the rest of the album is as polished and laidback as this, I’ll be very happy.
The second track Tesfaye released this week returned him to his self-destructive ways more akin to Beauty Behind the Madness. As with a lot of the stories that fuel Tesfaye’s tracks, ‘Party Monster’ is typically hazy and paranoid as the title implies. Add Lana Del Rey’s gloomy lyricism and backing vocals to the mix and the track takes on an even darker shade. ‘Party Monster’s’ composition is unsettling with a stalking synthscape and rattling snares and as for the subject matter, it seems that Tesfaye is once again drawn towards substances and even more damaging femme fatales of the night. Overall, I’ve enjoyed seeing another side to The Weeknd on his new singles but it’s also good to see that he hasn’t completely rejected the desolation that has haunted his previous work.
I Feel It Coming – 8.5/10
Party Monster – 7/10
Images courtesy of tuneshype.com and Hypebeast