Hype has been building around Abel Tesfaye, AKA The Weeknd, for some time now and rightly so, but with this latest collection having just topped the US charts, you better be prepared to have his name and his tunes stuck in your head for the foreseeable future.
Beauty Behind The Madness is the follow up to 2013’s Kiss Land and the evolution and growth Tesfaye has undergone is evident from the outset, although it’s not until track three, “Tell Your Friends,” which was co-produced by supposed future presidential candidate Kanye West, that the good stuff really kicks in. With that said, predecessor “Losers” featuring Labrinth is hard to ignore thanks to the use of horns.
The album from then on becomes an assortment of likely-to-be future hits. Alongside the summer smash “Can’t Feel My Face”, recently made even more popular thanks to Tom Cruise’s performance on Jimmy Fallon, “The Hills” and “Earned It” in particular are crying out for airplay and for fans to blast them from speakers across the country, if not around the world.
The duets with Ed Sheeran and Lana Del Rey, titled “Dark Times” and “Prisoner” respectively, placed towards the end of the collection give off a distinct message to those who give this a listen, as well as offering a warning to the artists with whom he is competing against in today’s ever-growing industry: ‘This material is mine, people want to work with me and I know how to make a great collaboration.’ Truthfully, he’s not wrong.
Beauty Behind The Madness on the whole, despite its undeniable strength, still leaves questions about who exactly The Weeknd is; there’s a considerable distance between himself and the listener, but for once, that just makes him more intriguing, and, whether he likes it or not, that gap looks set to diminish as his star continues to rise.