I think that The Weeknd has propelled himself into R&B elite with his latest mainstream records. Interestingly enough, I am not sure he wanted this type of spotlight to begin with. The Weeknd’s first few songs he released drew a more darker tone to it, which made me think that he was one of those weird ass people that walked around wearing Kanye’s slave looking clothes — but since then, he has created a more versatile sound. I review this new look Weeknd, and tell you the top 5 tracks you need to hear from it his newest effort.
5. DARK TIMES (4.8/5)
‘Dark Times’ is a duet with Ed Sheeran. Matter of fact, it sounds like something Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson would make… (Feel free to slap the hell out of me)
“Dark Times” is organic, it’s soulful, it’s the new age blues. It’s a track that will make you feel like being a scoundrel on purpose.
The difference in voice/delivery is glaring on this song, and that’s what makes it beautiful. You’re allowed to pick which side you want, and for any choice you choose, you would not be wrong.
4. TELL YOUR FRIENDS (5/5)
I love old school Kanye West, and this is an old school Kanye West type Beat — I’m talking Late Registration/Basic broad that threw up the ROC on ‘Through the Wire’ Kanye.
The Weeknd approaches this track with such nonchalance — it’s almost like a freestyle. Anything less than swag on this track would’ve been disappointing.
Do you like the constant mentioning of drug usage from R&B singers nowadays? I don’t!
3. THE HILLS (5/5)
“The Hills” is bizarre, It’s weird, It’s unsettling. On it, The Weeknd is drunk, belligerent, and in denial. Overall, he is totally miserable! That’s the best time music is made, though, right?
The beat to this song is terrorizing, and The Weekend’s gives us vocals that are equipped to deal with the terror.
2. EARNED IT (5/5)
“Earned It” is on the album, so it’s fair game to be rated.
‘Earned it’ is absolutely beautiful! It fits ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ so masterfully that I almost feel obligated to watch it!
This track is easy on the ears, and the melody is on point.
1. CAN’T FEEL MY FACE (5/5)
This track channels old school Michael Jackson, to me. Every venue he performs it in gets automatically energized. I actually think it transcends time, and will be appreciated for many years to come.
Besides the energy, the complexity of the message The Weeknd wants to provide is what makes it so great. Since it’s the Weeknd, telling his girl “Hey you are amazing and I really appreciate your presence” is too simple; instead, he tells her “Hey, just like drugs, I can’t feel my face when I’m around you.” How romantic!
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. REAL LIFE (4.5/5)
2. LOSERS (5/5)
3. TELL YOUR FRIENDS (5/5)
4. OFTEN (5/5)
5. THE HILLS (5/5)
6. ACQUAINTED (4/5)
7. CAN’T FEEL MY FACE (5/5)
8. SHAMELESS (4.1/5)
9. EARNED IT (FIFTY SHADES OF GREY) (5/5)
10. IN THE NIGHT (4.2/5)
11. AS YOU ARE (4.4/5)
12. DARK TIMES (5/5)
13. PRISONER (4.6/5)
14. ANGEL (4/5)
You may not agree with the new transformed The Weeknd, but you have to agree that this album consists of great music. It’s a heck of a mainstream debut, and it elevates The Weeknd to pop culture even if that wasn’t his intentions.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.