The title of his upcoming album (and a track here) is still completely ridiculous, but despite it sounding like a theme park for teenagers, the musical output makes up for that stupidity and has The Weeknd back on strong form after some patchy releases in the last 18 months.
The first half boasts a good blend of atmosphere and energy, and whilst the beat will undoubtedly draw many comparisons with works from House of Balloons (such as Loft Music), it pushes slightly away from the smooth vibe of that project and into a more disorienting style. That comes courtesy of a collection of sharp melodies and screams (yep) that create a sense of psychedelia, whilst the prominent and bassy percussion adds an intensity and drive that wouldn’t have fit on the aforementioned mixtape, and instead shows growth in his beat selection. The second part slows things down, similar to the transitions on his previous two-part tracks, and though it retains some of the same melodies there’s more emphasis on the atmospheric aspect. The addition of constant backing vocals create a rather haunting aura, whilst the synth and percussion work intertwines to make the soundscape slightly darker, and they help to add moody layers into an otherwise intense, vibrant production.
Vocally, the first segment has The Weeknd on a much more positive style, with his lyricism focused around ladies of interest and of course his self-assurance, with the verses delivered in a near-rap that slowly morphs into all-out harmonies in the hook, a section in which he gives rightful room to the production to lead. The second half’s more subdued production allows his vocal work to be spotlighted, and hence his output is both more emotive and lyrically aggressive, with a more negative, isolated outlook in certain segments. Both good tracks, and signs that his official debut album can’t be too far away.
I should apologise for the poor formatting here. Reviewing two songs in one is not easy.