On Nov. 25, The Weeknd released his highly anticipated album Starboy. His previous albums created a huge fanbase for this breakthrough artist, leaving many waiting in anticipation for this new release of his smooth vocals and mellow party hits.
The Weeknd’s new album features twists and turns of styles that tell a story of stardom. It opens with ominous tones, telling the beginning of a story of strife. It switches five songs in, turning to a more upbeat vibe, which gets more and more intense as the story goes on.
Its apex hits three quarters of the way into the album and comes back down as the strife is resolved. Overall, it is an incredible album that tells a story with its different mix of songs.
The album begins with “Starboy,” the teaser released Sept. 22 this year. It opens with static that pull into helter-skelter beats, which continue as the underbeat of the entire song. His smooth vocals come in next, a contrast to the somewhat creepy background of the song.
“Party Monster” starts similarly to the previous song and rather ominous keyboard chords lead into his quiet vocal intro. It’s more intense than “Starboy,” the synthesized vocals and background sounds reminiscent of wind or howls add to the creepy aspect of the song.
This song leads into “False Alarm,” a stark contrast to the other two. Although the song begins similarly, the beats are not mellow and ominous like the previous songs, but rather poppy and upbeat. Its chorus switches from this tone to an incredibly sinister song with screams and hard hitting beats.
“Reminder” also begins with an ominous keyboard, but it transitions into classic R&B beats, backing tracks and vocals similar to his original style. It’s mixed with the keyboard to continue to the creepy aspect of the album.
“Rockin’” takes the album for a turn with an incredibly groovy vibe, very similar to his usual songs. Although the song is good itself, it doesn’t seems to fit in with the previous songs .However, this is the change in the story of the album and it leads into the rest of the twists and turns.
“Sidewalks” is different from the entire album, and it’s amazing. It opens with a high guitar riff overlaid with background singers. It stops to drop with The Weeknd’s synthesized vocals. It is intense and more raw than the other songs. It’s the type of song you could see in a movie during a breakup scene.
“Six Feet Under” brings the tone back an ominous tone with its introduction. It’s similar to the songs in the beginning of the album, but somewhat continues the same tone as the transition tracks in the middle.
“A Lonely Night” is similar to the previous song with its use of 80’s style beats. It uses deep synthesized bass hits reminiscent of a Michael Jackson song. His vocals also allude to the King of Pop’s style with falsetto runs and Jackson’s classic yells and whoops.
“Attention” brings the album back down. It features a lot of The Weeknd’s classic style with soft beats underneath smooth vocals and synthesized percussion. “Ordinary Life” is similar to this. Both songs seem to not fit in with the rest of the album, because they feature songs that are more experimental.
“I Feel It Coming” is the finale to this album that takes a lot of twists and turns. It is simple and groovy with mixes of real smooth bass and vocals that allude to Michael Jackson. It is quiet and uncomplicated with an almost tranquil air. It is a cool and relaxing end to an album that mixes styles, tones, and vibes.
The Weeknd’s new album tells a story of stardome, from its quiet beginnings to tumultuous strife. He dipped into new waters with this album, and it left us excited for the work he will release next.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Weeknd’s Facebook page.
Monica Pizzo is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.