As a fan of The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) since House of Balloons, I was pumped when The Hills dropped on Itunes and Spotify. I was delighted from the first listen, with the chorus’ bass drops and Abel’s infectious vocals, and I anxiously waited for the next single with a newfound joy for life (no kidding). Once Can’t Feel My Face was issued, I was hooked, even more, if possible. The majority of Tesfaye’s older fans found CFMF slightly insulting, or vulgar, depends on who you talk to, but some, like me found it a brilliant showcase of his evolution.
I found his fan base’s reaction warranted, but reeking of envious hypocrisy. Sure, CFMF does mean his Wicked Games days are over, but you can’t blame Abel for achieving his highest potential. So I listened, and I grew to appreciate this new Tesfaye. The more you heard, the more you accepted it. Never before did he seem so complete, boasting his extraordinary vocal strengths and his gleeful lyrical madness, Beauty Behind The Madness’s second single deserved its eventual peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
On August 28th, when BBTM dropped, I reserved the day for a full listen. The album opens with Real Life, a passionate opener on The Weeknd’s past. The second track, one of my favorites of the ensemble, Losers (feat. Labrinth) has a crazy, party-esque beat shadowed by dark lyrics. Speaking of lyrics, Tell Your Friends is the strongest lyrically wise, and outdoes itself by the time it ends. Other highlights include possible contenders for the #1 spot on the BB Hot 100, Shameless and In The Night, both of which are extraordinary, especially the latter. Something that did disappoint me was Abel’s next two collaborations, each good, but not what I was hoping for. I expected more from Dark Times, and felt Prisoners was a little overdone.
All in all, by the time Angel pops up in your Spotify now playing, you’ll be impressed by the result. I can see The Weeknd becoming the next successful mega-star, here’s to the future!
Everything Mainstream Score – Track by Track Scoring:
Grading Scale: 100-69 = Good 68-55 = Average 54-0 = Bad
Real Life: 76/100
Losers (feat. Labrinth): 89/100
Tell Your Friends: 92/100
The Hills: 90/100
Can’t Feel My Face: 85/100
Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey): 71/100
In The Night: 97/100
As You Are: 80/100
Dark Times (feat. Ed Sheeran): 74/100
Prisoners (feat. Lana Del Rey): 88/100
Overall Everything Mainstream Album Score: 82/100, end result: Impressed
Predictions for the album’s singles and peaks on the BB Hot 100:
- The Hills – #1
- Can’t Feel My Face – #1
- Tell Your Friends – #16
- Prisoners (feat. Lana Del Rey) – #4
- In The Night – #1
- Shameless – #3
- Losers (feat. Labrinth) – #8
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