Tuesday, November 29, 2016

the Weeknd : "Star Boy"

I have been waiting for this one ever since I heard the title track which I have been wearing out, though I have avoided other spoilers so "Party Monster " was a happy surprise. I had seen the video for "False Alarm" and was still as unsure about that song as I was the first time I heard it. In some ways it reminds me of Bloc Party. This is not the only hint of new wave as "Secrets" would not be out of place on a Pet Shop Boys album.   The tone of this album is much different and embracing more of a dance vibe with strong ties to house music. With the amount of drugs is supposedly does this is no surprise. The Micheal Jackson influence can be still felt on songs like "Rockin" though musically it is much more like Euro dance.

This is dramatically less of an r&b album, so when the ballads do come with songs like "True Colors' it has more of a pop feel.Lyrically there is also a little more hope and much less self deprecation as he beings to see how functional of a drug addict he may or may not be. I'm really sure about the interlude Lana Del Ray gets on this album, but it's pretty unoffensive and finds her in more of Siouxsie like place. I am not much of a Kendrick Lamar fan so I was braced when it came to " Sidewalks". It is not the album's strongest song , but the competition is pretty fierce. "Six Feet Under" which reminds me more of his "House of Balloons" period falls out of the previous song and is more than solid. It sound like like Future is on this song as well as "All I Know " which he is credited with. This songs feels more like something that Future would be on more so than the more foreign depths of " All I Know"

The lighter tones of this album are once again demonstrated on " Love to Lay", which could be a Phil Collins song. It's a lot happier than I think I am ready for considering where I am in life, but well written and I commend the use of colors that are very different than what we heard from the last album. "A Lonely Night" grooves in a much more light hearted funk infused way than the title might suggest. When it comes to break up, he is not taking them as hard here. "Attention" does sound like more familiar territory, though it is not ground that is being re-tread. Lyrically this song rings true for me in regard to relationships past and present. Production wise things are pristine and one of factors that prevents this album being as dark as some of his other work. "Ordinary Life' winks that " No Ordinary Love" in the way it kicks in. A little of the shadows creep in on "Nothing Without You". It's ballad but with enough electronic elements to keep it from wallowing in the emotions.  This is another song whose lyrics hit me as being  pretty timely." Die For You" is another powerful break up song that creates a weird blend of pop, electronic and soul.

When Daft Punk re-joins him it is for a very late 80's Michel Jackson styled piece "I Feel It Coming" which I do not hear fitting on the radio as well as "Starboy".  Well crafted and true to what Daft Punk would bring to the table I think there are much stronger songs on this album. Overall lighter in tone , but still a well crafted and written album I'll round it up to a 10.



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