Starboy dazzles listeners and shines all around

Ravina Sachdev , Features Editor

To say the very least, Abel Tesfaye’s (whose stage name is The Weeknd) latest album Starboy is riveting. But of course, further elaboration is appropriate here.
To begin, the artist incorporates several reoccurring dark and ominous tunes throughout the album. These elements can be heard in the instrumentals, in his own voice, and in the background artists. Small grace notes of the flat key are added to the background music to add a mysterious and almost sinister effect. The Weeknd succeeds in ending most of his songs in suspenseful way, when the song slowly comes to an end as the last spine-chilling notes fade away.
A repetitive theme throughout the Starboy album, released Nov. 25, is The Weeknd voicing his opinions against his critics. In many of his songs such as the main title song “Starboy” and another song “Reminder,” the singer passes hints at how he is now thriving as a musician despite obstacles he has faced. Especially in his song “Sidewalks,” Tesfaye mentions how he came from a place that was overburdened with low expectations and setbacks. He describes how he rose up through the ranks to fame today. As a matter of fact, one of the lines is “homeless to Forbes List…”
The Weeknd makes a clear statement in a plethora of songs that he is impenetrable to criticism. His strong and confident singing voice in most of the Starboy songs that contribute to the idea of him defying others’ expectations and limitations that society sets on him. In several of his verses, The Weeknd passes hints that he is supposedly meant for something more than what the status quo dictates, and that is something I find very appealing in him as an artist. The Weeknd is unafraid to cross the boundaries that are often feared and obeyed by many. He touches on subjects that most artists are too timid to reveal about themselves.
Another interesting feature of Starboy is how the artist not only showcases his defiant side, but his soft hearted and loving personality as well. In songs such as “Die for You,” The Weeknd morphs his voice into an affectionate one, accommodated by a sonorous and very impactful beat. This song most definitely stands out to many listeners, including myself, because the resonant chorus suddenly emerges and becomes the climax of the song (and in my opinion, the entire album). Some downsides to Starboy include how the smooth and RnB vibes of the album are cut by the shouting and harsh guitar smashing in the song “False Alarms.” This song proves to be unpleasantly obnoxious.
Overall, this album completely changed my perspective on the obstacles that one has to overcome especially when facing criticism. The Weeknd’s daring, savage side shined through in this album, and by doing so, his fan base drastically increased.