UPDATE: Stream the album officially here:
08.21.15: It’s here a week early as The Weeknd’s new LP, Beauty Behind The Madness, hits the interwebs and can be heard (for now) below.
Right off the bat, there’s an 80s pop vibe with electric guitar and even some horns on the production as we hear Weeknd sing on lighter topics over the lighter moods. It’s more towards “Earned It” than “Can’t Feel My Face” at the beginning, then followed up by previous singles “Often” and “The Hills”.
From there, the album continues to mix Weeknd’s dark, signature moods but very seldomly and only in elements. There’s more of a traditional R&B/pop sound with more MJ-esque slow jams to follow. More 80s rock/pop elements are prevalant too, including more from the electric guitar. The Lana Del Rey and Ed Sheeran collabs back to back were both solid, but it was “In The Night” that jumped to the top tier of my album favorites. Just off first impression, it’s easily a progression in Weeknd’s overall sound and it’s going to take more listens to see if it impacts for me the same way his past albums have immensely.
Give it your own first listen below.
Follow-Up on “In The Night” via the NYT interview:
For Tesfaye, ‘‘In the Night’’ was the sort of compromise he was excited to make, a glistening surface salving the wounds that are his stock in trade. When he first played the song for Ron Perry, the president of Songs Music Publishing, which handles Tesfaye’s publishing, Perry couldn’t contain himself: ‘‘It’s ‘Billie Jean’! It’s ‘Billie [expletive] Jean’!’’
Couldn’t agree more, and I think that’s why I like it so much. Billie Jean might be my favorite MJ tune if I had to pick one.