Five years after releasing his debut EP House of Balloons, exploring contemporary R&B, the Toronto singer has found a unique approach to music. We are familiar with his music expressing love in many forms; boasting his forays into a one-percent world of luxury vehicles and nymph-like women; and possessing a synthesized beat that can only be described as his trademark.
The Weeknd has managed to make a transition from contemporary R&B into the pop stratosphere in recent years, when he released Beauty Behind the Madness in 2015. However, Starboy follows a mixed critical reception to teaser tracks “Starboy” and “Party Monster”. Working with the likes of Daft Punk and Lana Del Rey gives the album a twist when compared to his earlier work. Incidentally, “Reminder” is one of the better tracks on Starboy, where he references his conquering hit “I Can’t Feel My Face” with “I just won a new award from a kids show, talking ‘bout a face numbing from a bag of blow”.
Despite the mixed critical reception, Starboy does have its highlights. “A Lonely Night” proves to be a great B-side quality track of electro-funk, and “Attention” is a decent EDM ballad. Nevertheless, the hit track “Starboy” peaked at Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, so perhaps it pays for him to rest on his laurels. However, for fans that have followed him since his early days of being one of the major R&B artists of the decade, Starboy may not appear to be his best work.
Written by Stephanie Ma