The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness

The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness

The second major label album from Canadian Abel Tesfaye, Beauty Behind The Madness has been widely seen as the record which will not only break him commercially on a global scale, but the full flowering of a tremendous talent.

I’m not so sure. Tesfaye knows how to craft a darkly funky urban groove, that’s for certain, and there are plenty of examples on Beauty…, not least the opening one-two of Real Life and the Labrinth-starring Losers. He’s got a talent for melody, too, as showcased on the two UK hit singles herein, namely Earned It (from the Fifty Shades Of Grey soundtrack) and the single-of-the-year contender Can’t Feel My Face.

But over the course of a 65-minute album, it all starts to feel way too heavy and painfully cool and serious. I can’t hear much soul and the lyrics don’t help, either, with their talk of “bitches” and other phrases unsuitable for printing in a family newspaper.

Like this? Try these: Tricky, Maxinquaye; Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

By Andrew Greenhalgh

@adjgreenhalgh

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