The Amalgam is proud to present another guest review! My brother, Bailey Davis, took on The Weeknd’s newest album and was gracious enough to write a review to post to the website. For those of you looking to step outside of metal for a moment or two, you can check out Beauty Behind the Madness.
The wait is over everyone. The Weeknd has broken his album silence and has exploded back onto the scene with his new third studio album Beauty Behind The Madness and this time Abel means business.
Beauty Behind the Madness is the most important album for Tesfaye. His first three mixtapes and Trilogy established his style and melodies on the scene and saw his popularity skyrocket to new levels. Then Kiss Land came along, which put off some fans. Some thought it wasn’t a progression or regression that it was just there essentially. For close to two years we heard nothing about another album from Tesfaye until now.
Tesfaye made Beauty Behind the Madness right and he went to a larger scale. Four of the songs on the album are ones we have previously heard and are extremely successful. Tesfaye also hired the skills of Kanye West to produce the song “Tell Your Friends” and got features such as Labrinth (“Losers”), Ed Sheeran (“Dark Times”) and Lana Del Ray (“Prisoner”) showcasing the arsenal he can pull together to make an album. What is important is the cohesion between the songs, heard and unheard. “Real Life”, the first song on the album, is a beautiful open to the album. Abel seduces our ears once more with his classic harmonies and falsettos that he carries throughout onto later tracks such as “As You Are” and “Angel.” What is most important about all of these songs is the fact we learn more about Tesfaye, his start, his rise, addictions, escapes, everything.
At first listen, we can immediately pick up on two things. One, we hear Trilogy a little bit in the background which helps show his roots are still there. Two, we continue to see a new aspect to The Weeknd’s music and that is more pop influence (MJ, remember?). These new aspects stem from his Trilogy roots and ultimately determine his future success. In an interview with Pitchfork, Abel discussed how he always wants to give his audiences different sides of his music and show how versatile he his with his craft, and he has done just that. Making Beauty Behind the Madness is his best and most important album.