The title-track featuring Grammy winners, Daft Punk takes on a vintage approach where The Weeknd lays out a modernized style of vocals. What makes this track memorable is how the song carries an aggressive bass beat mixed with the familiarity of Daft Punk's style. The vocals are melodic in the tradition of R&B music. The dance-club vibe make this one a club favorite, and already a favorite of mine.
Another catchy song of the album that is very rich on the bass, set on a slower tempo. This is the type of track you grab someone close and move a lot, very slowly, very sensual. We are already feeling the R&B come alive on this one.
As this track began to play over my stereo in my car, it began with a fast electronic tempo accenting the upbeat. The first verse is smooth and flowing to a dance beat. But what caused my wife and I to turn to each other and ask, "What is that?" was the chorus. The truly shockingly alarming of the "False alarm. Hey Hey Hey" was truly an ear-opener. The track has drastic changes throughout, but at the finale we both came to the conclusion that although it was different, it certainly remains with you. Look out for this one.
This is probably one of the better tracks as far as lyrics go. At least for me. How The Weeknd is able to sing smoothly and poetic is how he has become successful in the music world spanning multiple genres. 'Reminder' is another slow jam that you cannot help but sing along to.
A dance favorite of the album. It is strong in electronic/pop-synth element. With a track like this one I am taken back to the styles of R&B great, Craig David. By now we are seeing The Weeknd's influence of artists of the past.
Probably an updated version of the early 80's classic by The Romantics' 'Talking In Your Sleep', 'Secrets' is a modern version. The lyrics are heavy in meaning as the original take. The chorus is just as addicting as The Romantics', "I hear the secrets that you keep, when you're talking in your sleep".
Here is a shift from the dance pop music. True Colors shifts into a smooth R&B song that is very smooth. I am getting an influence of whom I will speak of later in this review.
Stargirl (Interlude) Featuring Lana Del Rey
Starboy, Stargirl. Clocking under 2 minutes is a shift in the album. A track mostly absent of The Weeknd until the very end. Vocals are very low and sultry and at the end, The Weeknd comes in for a couple of bars.
Track 9 of 18, 'Sidewalks' features Kendrick Lamar. This is another track where the music is soft and subtle, until Lamar comes in with what he does best. The flow of the rap meshes well with the softness of the music. Definitely a song worth a listen.
Six Feet Under
Telling the tale of a girl who lives a fancy life at all costs. She chases the rich life who would rather find herself six feet under than live a different lifestyle. "6 feet under, she gonna kill me for that paper".
Love to Lay
This is that track that is a little more than an R&B jam, but a little less than a club dance hit. I am loving the steady pop beat. When the chorus kicks in, the music shifts a bit and I can swear I am reminded of hits from Earth, Wind and Fire. This track demonstrates incredible production that showcases elements of the past.
A Lonely Night
By now if you have read and listened to this article and album you'll know that The Weeknd is an artist of all sorts. Highly influenced by generations of music, 'A Lonely Night' shares a similar vintage style of dance groove. You can truly get a feel for that funk music on this one.
On the topic of The Weeknd's many talents is his range in vocals. Often we can hear him sing on a lower register so eloquently, but what makes a true singer is how he can shift the range to a higher register and deliver as well. I am impressed with how he is able to capture all of this in his music, especially on a track like this one.
This one has me thinking of the richness of the lyrics. The music remains subtle on this one as if we need to pay attention to what is being sung. It is truly one of the deep tracks of 'Starboy'.
Nothing Without You
A song where the musicality is at a minimum. Where the bass reigns over all else, 'Nothing Without You' brings out the vocals on the beat.
All I Know Featuring Future
The electronics on this song are heavy. If there is a track to blast on with a large sound system, it would be this track. This one is a trippy song, as in I am not sure what to make of it.
Die For You
The penultimate of the Starboy record. Another dance pop track that is powerful in lyrics as the title suggests.
I Feel It Coming Featuring Daft Punk
This is the second track that made me go and purchase this album. I could not help but think this track stands as a contender for a major award, or multiple awards for that matter. I was drawn to the styles of Daft Punk and the vocals that make listeners want to dance to, sing to and so forth. This is my favorite of the album.
I have made quite a bit of comparisons of this record to greats of the past. But let me be perfectly understood, The Weeknd stands as his own singer, and artist. I personally believe he has channeled the late Michael Jackson in many ways. If I could play music of the Jackson 5 I can spot the similarities. The same can be said about the entire Michael Jackson catalog as far as influence. I also firmly believe first and foremost that The Weeknd is a student of music, then a singer.
Coincidentally what sits atop of my writing desk at the moment juxtaposed are the Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson and this record. There is a sense of emotion that travels through me knowing how music has come a long way since Robert Johnson. It is because of the legends that we are able to continue to create amazing music and push the boundaries of music experimentation. Until next time.
"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing"
"Hey Ho, Let's Go"