Beauty behind the new Weeknd album delivers on high expectations

Abbie Gheju, Staff Writer

Abel Tesfaye, commonly known as The Weeknd officially released his latest album titled Beauty Behind the Madness on August 28.

The album cover features a tattered photo of Tesfaye that adds a mysterious and dark feeling to the album. His eighth album includes nine songs and features artists such as Lana Del Rey, Ed Sheeran and Labrinth.

Previously released were the three singles “Often,” “The Hills,” which earned number 4 on Billboard Hot 100 and “Can’t Feel My Face,” which hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 making Abel’s first one number one hit.

With such an overwhelmingly positive response to the singles, it’s no surprise that his album sales plus streaming are at the top with 415,267 units sold in the first week.

The album also includes the single “Earned It,” which amassed wide popularity due to it being featured on the soundtrack for 50 Shades of Grey.

Abel’s pure and high tenor voice really shine through in this album. The song “Shameless,” is a personal favorite– the richness and subtle sensuality in his voice really defines the song and is definitely a masterpiece on its own.

In terms of his other music, “Shameless” has a very fresh and unique sound which elevated the album to a higher level.

Although there is quite a lot of explicit content, his melodic voice adds new dimensions and transcends from being “trashy” to complexly passionate.

Songs like “Prisoner” and “As You Are” represent the flexibility of his music demonstrating how he is able to easily delve deeper than simply drugs and sex.

Overall, there is a definite balance on the album between songs dealing with the more intricate feelings of love but also maintains the typical Weeknd vibe.

Compared to previous albums, Beauty Behind the Madness is dominated more by pop, yet that is not necessarily a bad thing. Longtime fans may feel dismayed that his sound has changed, yet artists must constantly evolve.