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Shoot for The Starboy

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2016 may not have been the best year ever for the rest of the world, but it was a far different story for Canadian musician The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye). His album Starboy made him a household name, as he is currently the #1 most listened to artist in the world, with almost 40 million listeners on Spotify alone. Starboy was also given the prestige of having the most Spotify downloads in under 24 hours ever. His merchandise was sold out within the week of its release. He made appearances on some of America’s favorite shows, like SNL, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

November 25 marked the release of the full album, after the instantly popular singles “Starboy” (which is also the name of the album) and “False Alarm” were released a few months prior. The videos for both show a new style for the traditionally stubborn artist, with all three of his past albums (Trilogy, Kiss Land, Beauty Behind The Madness) falling under the same lusting, intoxicated vibe. The opening scene of the “Starboy” video shows (Spoiler Alert!) the classic image of The Weeknd, a man in a suit and bowtie with the iconic locks, being killed by the new incarnation of The Weeknd, a man with a cross tucked into his bomber jacket, while he runs his hands over his now-shaven head. This ‘murder’ of his past persona shows him finally straying away from the aura that surrounded his prior works. His first two albums were more ‘indie’, with long interludes for vocalizations, acoustic sounds rather than technological ones, and lots of talking over the music. Beauty Behind The Madness secured him a spot in the musical charts, with his classic singles “I Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills.” Those songs became popular rather quickly, but still featured his mystic/indie style, although it was significantly toned down, which centered around drugs and women.

Starboy is the first of his works to stray from this vibe. The atmosphere of this album is the acceptance of heartbreak, while simultaneously embracing the new life that fame has brought Tesfaye. Songs like “True Colors”, “Love to Lay”, “Attention” and “Nothing Without You” show a broken hearted man who looks at his lover while recognizing her infidelity. Yet the songs “Party Monster”, “Reminder”, and “Six Feet Under” celebrate his new life as an A-list celebrity, the awards, fans, and access that he now has. This fame is also subtly highlighted with collaborations by artists Daft Punk, Lana Del Ray, Future, and Kendrick Lamar, which certainly did not hurt the public’s reception of Starboy. In terms of The Weeknd’s new reign over the pop music industry, it is safe to say that “I Feel It Coming.”

Track list:

  1. Starboy
  2. Party Monster
  3. False Alarm
  4. Reminder
  5. Rockin’
  6. Secrets
  7. True Colors
  8. Stargirl Interlude
  9. Sidewalks
  10. Six Feet Under
  11. Love To Lay
  12. A Lonely Night
  13. Attention
  14. Ordinary Life
  15. Nothing Without You
  16. All I Know
  17. Die For You
  18. I Feel It Coming

(Picture credit to Wikipedia)

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Shoot for The Starboy