The Weeknd, a name synonymous with R&B crooning and drug trips, has come a long way from his humble beginnings as an underground artist. Back in late 2014 the singer dropped the song “Earned It” making himself known to nearly every single person in the world, which in turn led to a sort of build up to the next big mainstream track. The Weeknd put out “Can’t Feel My Face” and gained legendary status, with the single reaching platinum certification and becoming a household name among teens and adults alike. His new album “Beauty Behind the Madness” is nearly two years in the making, leading to a body of work unlike any of the singer’s previous efforts or collaborations.
There’s something about The Weeknd’s delivery and presence that helps the listener to never get bored of the subject matter, it’s presented with such gravitas and stability which helps with the long swoons of lustful drug induced affairs. The project itself is something of crossover excellence, fusing catchy pop songs with his signature blend of woman troubles and drug problems, all being served over some stellar hard hitting production, as well as some slow ballads. Kanye West serves as production for one of the albums standout tracks called “Tell Your Friends” fusing classic Kanye-esque samples over a smooth beat, while “As You Are” feels instrumentally like a Phil Collins track. Ed Sheerhan and Lana Del Rey make guest appearances on the songs “Dark Times” and “Prisoner”, respectively.
The project is The Weeknd’s most mainstream body of work, and that’s not bad at all. He seems to have found a newer, friendlier sound while retaining his dark subject matter and the album never feels like it doesn’t miss the mark, there’s something about every track that really sort of stands on its own. If you’re a fan of his Trilogy mixtapes and only those, steer clear. But if you stuck around even after Kiss Land, then you’ll find sanctity in this album.
Mark my words; “In The Night” will be the next big single.
Beauty Behind the Madness releases August 28th via Republic Records