Just 15 months after the release of his breakout record Beauty Behind the Madness, The Weeknd is still riding off of the fumes of mainstream success with his third studio album, Starboy.

The past two years have inarguably been the biggest of The Weeknd’s career, and on Starboy, he shows no signs of slowing down. His third album is his most conceptual and cohesive project yet. A lot of the tracks transition into one another, specifically “False Alarm” into “Reminder” and “Rockin’” into “Secrets”. The latter pair of these songs is perhaps the most notable, as they have more of an upbeat, disco-style feel to them.

The album is influenced by Prince, David Bowie, and Daft Punk, the latter of three collaborated with him on the opening title track, as well as the closing track “I Feel it Coming”. The closing track is one of the best on the record, and the funky, groovy, 70’s-style sex jam mainstream radio has needed for years.

The Weeknd collaborated with several A-list producers, including the likes of Max Martin, Metro Boomin’, and Benny Blanco. He also collaborated with many of the hottest artists in the game right now, including Future, Kendrick Lamar, and Lana Del Rey. There are a few other A-list artists who contribute “secret” back-up vocals to the record, including Justin Timberlake on “Rockin’” and the long-absent Sam Smith on “Sidewalks”.

Perhaps the most personal, poignant track of the 18 is “Die For You”, on which he expresses how much he’s willing to sacrifice for his female love interest, despite the obstacles.

Starboy is arguably The Weeknd’s best work since his early mixtape days, and it is perhaps his record that is most poised for mainstream success.

The album is accompanied by a short film called “Mania”, which stars The Weeknd and French model Anais Mali.

Rating: 5/5

Download Recommendations: “Secrets”, “Sidewalks (feat. Kendrick Lamar)”, “Die for You”, and “I Feel it Coming (feat. Daft Punk)”

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