Sex, drugs, ego among themes in The Weeknd’s album
Abel Tesfaye, known as “The Weeknd,” is a Canadian-born singer who recently released his second studio album “Beauty Behind the Madness.”
The album touches on his personal life and his views on women. Although the album covers racy subjects, the musicality in his voice gives the album a fresh sound. The album is also enjoyable because it spans many different genres. The track list is as follows: Real Life 3:46“Real Life” is a strong statement for an album opener. Tesfaye opens up very descriptively in his vocals. The instrumental highlights his wavy vocal style.
The dramatic, theatrical flow showcases an emotional delivery. Losers ft. Labrinth 4:41 As Tesfaye comes in with vocals, his stagnated, staccato singing flows well with the drums. This upbeat track is influenced by multiple genres, including techno, rock and hip-hop. Labrinth’s feature is half-hearted and gives a dark energy to the song, but it delivers a positive message. Both artists resent not giving enough effort to their romantic problems, so they decide to change.
Uniquely, both singers use the same lyrics, and put their own spins on them. Tell Your Friends 5:37 “Tell Your Friends” is a slow, descriptive song giving a self-reflection on women and the speaker’s habits. The simple beat gives more room for Tesfaye to speak about his growth as a person. He craves for people to talk about him. You get an in-depth look into Tesfaye’s life with the recognition that he is receiving.
Often 4:12 “Often” is a robotic entry with a modern electronic feel. It is a song about sexuality and contains racy lyrics. Tesfaye try to do too much vocally in the song. He discusses getting famous and how he handles it.
The Hills 4:05 “The Hills” is an auto-tune heavy track that with sexually charged lyrics. The speaker discusses his drug use and how it relate to his sexual tendencies. The song builds to a lighter tone, where showcases a wider vocal range. The track contains subtle messages and highlights his versatility as a modern-day artist. Although he covers his discrepancies in his relationship, the woman in question is not spared by his words. Acquainted 5:51 The song’s early message goes to falling for a girl for whom the speaker shouldn’t have fallen.
He feels guilty for his actions towards the girl and resents this affects his emotions. Vocally, he is soft-spoken. Can’t Feel My Face 03:36 This one is more of a club jam and is light on the bass and treble. It’s vocally stagnated and staccato. The instrumental is heavy on the snare with a techno feel. The speaker covers his influence by women and his passion for drug use.
Shameless 3:40 The speaker has no shame when telling his love interest that he is very unique in his love. He is irreplaceable. He can do whatever he can for the girl, but she’s never satisfied. There is an exemplary guitar solo at the 2:30 mark. He’s shameless as he talks about how great of a guy he is. There is a huge ego at work here.
Earned It 4:40 “Earned It” is perhaps the most popular song on the album and is from the movie “50 Shades of Grey.” There is a good build-up into a pianovocal duet. The high-pitch moments in the song showcase Tesfaye’s range and his staccato and stagnated singing style. The track is very heavy on the orchestral instruments. In the Night 3:58 “In the Night” has a fast tempo and a techno feel. Tesfaye sings about a girl who is bad, but he makes excuses for her. She is young, lives in a big city and has great potential. The speaker expresses resentment for caring for her, but he understands her situation. Vocally, Tesfaye is more emotionally-charged.
As You Are 5:43 Soft, timely vocals set a light mood for this track. Heartbroken, the speaker pushes through the emotionally-charged vocals. Even though the girl he references is heartbroken, he knows her desires. He would like for the girl to recognize him as an individual, taking him as he is. They both know they are doomed as a couple.
Dark Times ft. Ed Sheeran 4:23 Ed Sheeran gives the song a different and unique vibe in conjuction with Tesfaye. In their harshest times, the singers discuss who was there for them at their lowest points. They both want to give a fair warning to women whom they want to spare heartache. Prisoner ft. Lana del Rey 4:37 Tesfaye relaxes his tone while he gives his insight on being held back by a woman. Love is a fi ghting game, and he submits himself to the woman’s wishes.
The background vocals carry the song heavily. Featured singer Lana del Rey creates an underlying harmony that works well. The speaker lusts for Lana while she lusts for a successful career. Angel 6:20 Even though the speaker loves the girl he references, he wants her to fi nd someone who is better.
Someone who can appreciate and love for her. The background drums help accent the emotions in Tesfaye’s voice as he creates the mood for the track.