The Weeknd has always had an affinity for dark sounds and lyrics. However, in the last couple of years, his music has reflected a haunting of sorts. Beauty Behind The Madness was released less than 2 years ago. Now, he’ s already back with a collection of new tracks on the appropriately titled Starboy. Don’t let the upbeat sound of some of the album’s upbeat tracks fool you. The Weeknd is still battling his inner demons of fame. The title track, “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk is accompanied by a video of him smashing expensive possessions in his home. The song’s lyrics speak of someone who has all the material things, but still feels empty. Let’s not forget the awkward glowing red cross he’s smashing everything with.
Don’t fret. He’s not alone in this drunken abyss of the after effects of fame. On “Party Monster”, he is woke by a girl with lips like Angelina Jolie and an ass like Selena. Oh, but he doesn’t know her name. “Reminder” finds him self aware of his success and unique sound. He even acknowledges the biters who have tried to copy his style. “Rockin'” is a surefire pop crossover hit. This song, like most of the album, has a heavy electronic pop sound. Lana Del Rey lends her hypnotic vocals on the “Stargirl” interlude. Kendrick Lamar also drops in to offer his a memorable verse on the bluesy, self aware “Sidewalks”. This is hands down one of the most autobiographical songs on the album. Here, The Weeknd sings he went from “homeless to Forbes list”.
“Six Feet Under” morbidly picks up where “Six Inch Heels”, his bass thumping Beyonce collaboration, left off. I’m no fan of Future by any stretch of the imagination. However, his feature on “All I Know” doesn’t manage to ruin the song. Overall, The Weeknd’s core audience will love this album. He has also sprinkled in just enough new elements to broaden his fan base as well. He closes out Starboy with another Daft Punk feature called “I Feel It Coming”. This song is one of the more positive tracks on the album, that finds him yearning for love. However, I can’t help but hope he will learn how to cope with his success in a less destructive manner one day. Maybe that story line is just part of his appeal. Either way, expect his starboy status to brighten even stronger with this project.