The release of The Weeknd’s new album “Starboy” broke records. Becoming one of the highest streamed albums on Spotify during its first weekend, “Starboy” reminds people of the fetching nature of The Weeknd’s music. His ability to create catchy beats that entrap the listener is shown within every song. Unlike his previous albums, which intertwine darker undertones with upbeat ones, this album is more of a confident showcase of previously established talent. This album is reminder to all that this artist is thriving within the music industry.
Although many magazines have written scathing reviews, some credit must be given to The Weeknd. He has become a major name in the niche of pop music, adding his well-known sex-and-drugs bravado to every song. “Beauty Behind the Madness” created the iconic sound that is now associated with him. And it’s true “Starboy” is a different application of that sound. However, regardless of its lack of originality, his popularity is justified and this album reminds us why. Yes, this album does not follow the soulful trend that has taken over hip-hop this year, as seen with Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book” or Anderson Paak’s “Malibu,” but The Weeknd has always had a more party-centric sound to his music that spreads its appeal to a larger audience.
Upon first listen, I was not disappointed by this album. It was the revival of the familiar sound that I enjoyed with “Beauty Behind the Madness.” It remains a catchy album filled with upbeat background music. “True Colors” is my top choice from the album, as it is a slower ballad that provides a nice contrast with the rest of the album.
To those who are hesitant to listen to the album, I would recommend an initial listen without judgement. This album is by no means revolutionary. It is a catchy album that plays up the talent of The Weeknd. Approaching this album with few expectations will allow for a more enjoyable listen. I would avoid watching the video precursor to the album, “M A N I A,” released two days before the album. It is a showy compilation of a pop star’s life, filled with money, women and fancy cars. For those who are already apprehensive of the album, this may be a distinct turn off. Given this, I would give priority to the music and allow it to speak for the talent that generated the ascent of this artist into the music record books.