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The Weeknd – Starboy

  • Release date: 25 November 2016
  • Label: X0 records, Republic Records

The Weeknd has managed to offer some kind of ingenuity in spite of his well-worn shticks in the past. Kiss Land may have sounded like Trilogy redux, but at least it offered a thrilling reprise of Eighties underground darkwave as well as his mordantly inspired meditations on the first rush of international fame. Beauty Behind the Madness was a stunning leap forward into the pop stratosphere, and its standout moments more than outweighed its weaker tracks.

But Starboy merely sounds like cliches in fancier packaging. The movie comes after the preview singles “Starboy” and “Party Monster,” which received mixed reviews from critics. Indeed, the Weeknd ditched his fear in favour hair a stylish inkblot mohawk; he collaborates with Daft Punk, who produced the album’s lead single and “I Feel It Coming”; and he has a moniker that, according to him, honours the late David Bowie. (He hasn’t addressed rumours that Wizkid, a Nigerian singer of afrobeats, was the first to use the name “Starboy.)

The Weeknd ought to be one of those innovators forging ahead. Rather, he overstuffed Starboy with gloomy alt-R&B boilerplates and egregious New Wave blunders. The latter includes the syrupy Eighties cataclysm “Secrets,” which falters on a trite hook taken from the Romantics’ “Talking in Your Sleep” and has a stabbing synth beat and a melodious repeat of Tears for Fears’ “Pale Shelter.” Producers Max Martin and Ali Payami give “Rockin'” a catchy garage-house rhythm, but all the Weeknd can come up with is a corny chorus. Lana Del Rey makes an inexplicable appearance as “Stargirl.” And since the Weeknd and Future made “Low Life” into a meaningless smash earlier in the spring, why not try “Six Feet Under” and “All I Can” for more SEO-powered magic?

Of course, “Starboy” reached its highest position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number two, so perhaps it’s best to take a nap. But Starboy will ultimately seem like a letdown to devoted fans who think The Weeknd is one of the biggest R&B singers of the decade.


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The Weeknd’s Starboy’s Tracklist

1.Starboy (ft. Daft Punk)
2. Party Monster
3. False Alarm
4. Reminder
5. Rockin’
6. Secrets
7. True Colors
8. Stargirl Interlude (ft. Lana Del Rey)
9. Sidewalks (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
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 (ft. Future)
17. Die For You
18. I feel it Coming (ft. Daft Punk)