Beauty Behind the Beauty Behind the Madness

The Weeknd Album Review

Laura Coffey and Minh Pham

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His unmistakable vocal tone and bass-filled beats are taking the world by storm. His name is popping up at award shows, music festivals, and talk shows, nationwide. The man playing through everyone’s headphones is named Abel Tesfaye, you may know him better as The Weeknd.

Tesfaye’s fifth release, Beauty Behind the Madness brings an entirely new variation to TThe Weeknd’s trademark dark and sultry style. With his extremely distinct vocal style and background in the most saturated genre of music, pop, The Weeknd does what few contemporary artists can pull off. Not only is each and every track in Beauty Behind the Madness a masterpiece, but when evaluated as a whole, the album somehow becomes even more stupendous.

Few things in life are more satisfying than being able to listen to an album from start to finish without the slightest urge to press skip. With his 2015 album, Tesfaye has secured his rank among the handful of artists that have managed to do so, which is all the more impressive in light of his recent arrival to bigger stages.

In terms of the individual tracks, it is extremely difficult to choose a favorite. How could you? Can’t Feel My Face presents a unique twist on that classic, pop radio sound. The Hills is the club banger with skull-shaking bass undertones that you never knew you needed. Angel beautifully combines hauntingly beautiful lyricism and earnest studio production to form a pop ballad for the ages. And this doesn’t even include the plethora of legendary collaborations included in the album, featuring artists such as Ed Sheeran, Labrinth, and Lana Del Ray, just to name a few. The Weeknd seamlessly blends his superlative vocal ability, production skills, and songwriting mastery to form a versatile and very unique yet widely appealing record, showcasing his abilities without noticeably showing off (a mistake that a multitude of pop artists make constantly).

All in all, I would rate this album a well-deserved five out of five stars, and anyone who has not listened to the album all the way through needs to put Beauty Behind the Madness at the top of their playlist list. Even if you’ve listened to a few songs, or believe you’ve heard enough to know what The Weeknd is about, please reconsider, because you have no idea what you’re missing out on.

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