Free Album Download: The Weeknd’s “Starboy”
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (a.k.a. The Weeknd) is back with Starboy, his highly-anticipated follow up (which you can download for free in the link at the bottom) to 2014’s Beauty Behind the Madness, which catapulted him to stadium level superstardom. And if you loved that record, this one will not disappoint. We are proud to offer the entire album for free download on Trebel now and hope you’ll check it out.
First question you might be asking yourself, “how different is this album from it’s predecessor?” Not very. Lots of falsetto crooning, egotism (“I’m good, I’m good, I’m great” – Party Monster) recreational drug use, downing of liquor bottles, and, of course, objectifying women, strippers in particular. I’m told this formula qualifies as FIRE to the kids these days, so if it worked once, why not twice? “False Alarm” is energetic and definitely the most spontaneous and innovative track on the record. “Starboy” and “Party Monster” are the “I Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills” of this record: club-friendly party jams perfectly calibrated to dominate Billboard for the foreseeable future.
One area where this album soars is in the guest artists: These appearances definitely stand out and I feel weird saying it, but I think the album would benefit from even more collaboration. When he steps out of the limelight, his cohorts actually amplify the raw intensity and sincerity of the music. When left to his own devices, Abel renders something very familiar and calculated. While he’s basically made Beauty 2.0 here, the finer touches added by these four artists make their particular tracks surprisingly memorable.
- Daft Punk thumps us on “Starboy” and hearkens back to Random Access Memories on “I Feel It Coming.”
- Lana Del Rey delivers a soulful, sultry Lemonade-level analysis of her man on “Stargirl Interlude.”
- Kendrick Lamar absolutely tears the roof of my favorite track, “Sidewalks.”
- Future makes an appearance on the plodding, largely forgettable “All I Know.” I keep thinking he’s ripping off Designer here…you know, ‘cuz it’s usually the other way around.
It’s a thoroughly danceable album, that is if your dance of choice is either a slow, booty-grinding trap jam or Off-the-Wall era moonwalk sachet. This isn’t to say that several tracks don’t break the mold, such as the title track, the spastic “False Alarm,” and the stupendously entrancing closer, “I Feel It Coming.” Even the most nuanced vocal track, “Sidewalks” doesn’t color too far outside the lines of the hip-pop-house genre that The Weeknd, Future, and Drake have drawn, merely reminding you how insanely awesome Kendrick Lamar is.
This isn’t to say the album doesn’t sound great. It does. The production values on this record are top notch (thanks in large part to Daft Punk and Cashmere Cat) and it’s pleasant to hear both over headphones and in the car. I’ve never seen The Weeknd in concert and I’m really curious to see how these songs translate to a live setting.
While his voice sounds smooth and musically the album is chock full of saccharine, memorable melodies, the vocal inventiveness is concentrated pretty much in “False Alarm” and “Sidewalks;” and unfortunately, lyrical content is where this record really bites the dust. Abel’s never been one for subtlety, but where Beauty Behind the Madness only dabbled in flagrant narcissism (at points even poking fun at himself, coyly aware of his own hypocrisies) Starboy bathes in a marble jacuzzi of ego worship, reveling in it, celebrating it, and electing it to rule its free music world. Specifically I’m referring to “Six Feet Under” (Do we really need another hip-pop song talking about how sexy strippers are?) and just try to get through “Attention” without cringing and asking him “Who are you, our mother? Yes, we’re Millenials on Snapchat in 2016. Clearly we need attention.”
Maybe this was Abel’s attempt at post-modern self-awareness?
Ultimately, Starboy is a facepalmingly appropriate album to signal the nadir of Barack Obama’s high-browed hope-and-change-filled decade and herald the advent of Trumpmerica where humility is pretty much the only thing we are being asked to check at the door.
If you’re looking for a party album to shake your rump to, you’ll dig this record. If you’re into playing beer pong at a beach BBQ, then this is a pot of gold. But, if you’re looking for an innovative and balanced dance record, Starboy will likely feel very uneven.
- Cut Out – Skip these. Nothing new to hear here:
- “Six Feet Under”
- “Love To Lay”
- Deep Cuts – Standout tracks that yours truly has on repeat:
- “I Feel It Coming”
- “A Lonely Night”
- “False Alarm”
Get all the songs on The Weeknd’s Starboy for free using Trebel Music. Download the app for free here.
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