BY SHANICE LEWIS
No one can seem to get enough of the Weeknd, not the one that follows Friday but the Canadian R&B crooner who recently topped Billboard charts with his third solo album.
Real name Abel Tesfaye, The Weeknd just kicked off his sold out North American tour which features opening acts Travis Scott, BANKS and Halsey. His latest album Beauty Behind the Madness debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 200 charts selling 412k units in its first week. The album went on to spend three consecutive weeks at the number one spot.
The Weeknd had us all numb in the face with his summer smash “Can’t Feel My Face,” which also reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was replaced by “The Hills” making The Weeknd the first male since 2008 to succeed himself on the charts. “The Hills” spent six weeks at the number one spot before falling to Adele’s “Hello.”
The Weeknd touches base on a new sound on his latest project. However, he doesn’t fully abandon his dark, drug infused, sex crazed melodies but offers us new Prince, Michael Jacskon-esque tunes. Records like “In the Night” and “As You Are” are obvious tracks that are so eerily reminiscent of the late king of pop. Behind a snazzy more uptempo beat, The Weeknd sings “All alone she was living/ in a world without an end or beginning/ babygirl was living life for the feeling.”
Besides the obvious chart topping records, The Weeknd’s albums consists of a few fan favorites featuring artists like Ed Sheeran and Lana Del Rey. “Tell Your Friends,” a tune co-produced by Kanye West is your classic Weeknd tune. It’s familiar to his mixtapes but yet still refreshing. He sings about hustling, focusing on his “vision” and missing his city, Toronto. However, he let’s us know that he hasn’t given up his old ways as he sings “I’m that ni**a with the hair/ singin’ poppin pills, f**kin’ b*tches, livin life so trill,” in case you forgot.
“Dark Times,” a duet shared with Ed Sheeran is a bluesy tune unlike anything we hear from R&B artists today. The two wallow in self-pity over a slightly haunting beat. Lana Del Rey is the perfect fit for “Prisoner,” a chilling duet that describes being addicted to emptiness and being comfortable in uncertainty.
The Weeknd closes his album with a sensational power-ballad, “Angel” that can easily be an anthem for hopeless romantics everywhere.
Although The Weeknd’s latest album isn’t her favorite, Dominique Seabrooks still believes he is nothing less than amazing. She says it’s a great album and definitely different from his first two but believes “he’s trying to make his sound more relatable to a mainstream audience while still talking about drugs, heartbreak and meaningless sex.”
Seabrooks, a student at John Jay College recently went to The Weeknd’s New Jersey show which she calls a great experience. “He captivates a room like no other artist I’ve seen live,” she said.
The Weeknd’s reign doesn’t seem to be coming to an end any time soon. In a recent interview with Billboard magazine he said “the pop-star life is a new challenge for me.” So, with more madness comes more beauty.