Abel Tesfaye, the mysterious Canadian singer who records as The Weeknd and has recently entered the mainstream pop game with ‘Love Me Harder’, a collaboration he did with sweet pop princess, Ariana Grande has just come out with Beauty Behind The Madness, the follow-up album to Kiss Land, a party album filled with darkness and drugs.
The RnB mixed post-punk and pop 14 track album includes ‘Earned It’, the waltz Tesfaye contributed to the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, a genre curveball which nevertheless sat well with his depraved brand identity. Then we have ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ the album’s chart topper co-written by Max Martin which was leaked after memorial day. The track brings on a Michael Jackson vibe and is essentially an ode to cocaine, driven by a deep danceable funk. The Weeknd channels MJ again on the opening track to the album, ‘Real Life’ as well as in ‘In The Night’.
Adding to his playboy arrogance, we have ‘Often’ and ‘The Hills’ on, which he charmingly tells his lover that he has already had sex with 2 other women that evening. Then we have Kanye co-produced track ‘Tell Your Friends’, which adds a 70s soul tune to the album. He uses this track to reflect on his rise to fame and as a reminder that he is still the same guy, singing “I’m that n***a with the hair/singing ’bout popping pills, f***ing bitches, living life so trill”. Adding a late night lust, the album includes ‘Acquainted’, a song about a girl getting to know herself.
To give some 80s love to the album we have ‘Shameless’, one of the better songs on the album and ‘Angel’, the closing track to the album which essentially is a love song about his long lost love; the song plays a familiar beat although it’s slower and carries a more emotional vibe.
Some of the not so good tracks on the album however includes The Weeknd’s collaboration with Ed Sheeran in ‘Dark Times’ which was mind-numbingly boring and his other collaboration with Lana Del Rey in ‘Prisoner’ gave off a dark but again, boring spirit. Although, his collaboration with Labrinth in ‘Losers’ added a fresh jazzy beat to the album. Another not so great track on the album was ‘As You Are’ a soft and broken-hearted ballad. This album turned out to be an album where The Weeknd starts warming us up for more things to come and gets a little bit more personal.