Starboy is the latest studio album from the Weeknd. According to Abel, there was a lot of creative energy still left from his past project, which helped fuel this one. It’s apparent that he’s drifted away from his raw and dark style that was featured on his first 3 mixtapes, and has now moved into the pop scene. With his incredible vocals and versatility however, the shift into the pop scene has been a great move for him in terms of achieving more recognition, whiles staying true to his sound. He’s had a lot of success from his last album, and Starboy appears to be another impressive body of work. It’s remarkable how much talent the Weeknd possesses. In the Zane Lowe interview, the Weeknd made note of the creation process for his album Starboy. He states that Starboy is a character that embodies a flashy type of lifestyle. With that being said, let’s dive into the Starboy experience.
1) Starboy (feat. Daft Punk)
By now we’ve all heard this song played hundreds of time, so I won’t spend too much time on it. However, this song was a perfect pick for his single. The hook is super catchy and the drum loop and bass not only help to accentuate his vocals, but they stand out on their own which makes the song knock. The Weeknd’s flow floats elegantly on the beat, and his easily digested braggadocious lyrics make for a seamless listen. The versatility of the song can fit many different moods and can be played on a variety of occasions. Props on the Weeknd’s team for getting him to collaborate with the iconic Daft Punk, I wouldn’t mind hearing a short EP of them together.
1. “Main bitch out of your league too ah, side bitch out of your league too ah.”
2. “You talkin’ bout me I don’t see no shade.”
2) Party Monster
Hands down my most played song off the album. I could barely get past this song on the first listen through. I hit that repeat button like a crack addict for 4 listens straight before moving onto the next song. The intro is eerily familiar to the hook of Dedication 5’s intro, which was also another one of my most played Weeknd songs, so it brought me back into that space. There’s a lot of elements that go into making this track such an experience. To start off, the lyrics of the intro are spirited. Research says that telling yourself “you’re good” or “you’re great” boosts your confidence by 87% (don’t quote me on that). The Weeknd creates a dichotomy with those lyrics by stating that he’s about to pour up a drink, which is most likely to ease some pain. This dichotomous theme runs throughout the entire song, and as someone who lives in the balance between righteousness and ratchetness, this song emphasizes that belief.
The hook proceeds to develop the dichotomous theme by the Weeknd giving thanks to the Lord for another day, but he wakes up realizing he’s slept beside a girl who’s name he can’t seem to recall. This shit is mad disrespectful yo, celebrities can get away with so much savagery smh. Anyways, the bridge expresses his distrust for new women, and the vocals from Lana Del
Bae Rey are potent. Party Monster just has so much going for it. The beat bounces, the lyrics feature a story and a theme that are catchy AF, and the switch up for the bridge brings that dark element that made us fall in love with the Weeknd’s sound. As someone who enjoys a good party, this song hits home.
- “I’m good, I’m good, I’m great. Know it’s been a while now I’m mixing up the drink.
- “Bitches in my new spot crowdin’ up my space, had to check my safe check the dresser for my chains.”
3) False Alarm
I hated this song when it was released as a single, but after hearing it within the album I feel that it works a whole lot better with the sequencing. This song has got that 80’s dance vibe to it which is cool. The song basically talks about a girl that’s shallow and loves the glamorous lifestyle along with the spoils of money. She lacks depth in her character, but she can’t seem to live any other life. It’s definitely not the best song, but I’m not mad at it when it comes on. I just won’t rush to put this on.
Aka: “remind her”. This track fucking KNOCKS. First of all, it’s impossible to play this shit without turning up and making a screwed face. Secondly, that bass will have you busting up any and every object in the nearest vicinity. Bass just hits the inner depths of your soul. You gotta play this at ignorant levels whenever and wherever it comes on, not to mention you’d probably catch a few bodies in the club. Just so you know, that bridge is a perfect beat to get your twerk on ladies…
Lyrically the Weeknd’s explaining how he hasn’t changed much from his old mixtape days, and the hook can be perceived as petty, if you see it as him telling a girl that he’s too big to forget no matter how she tries to move on. I had to hit the repeat button on this track too because this man had the audacity to say, “Got a sweet Asian chick she go low mane (lo mein)” lmfaooo. I fucks with it.
Captions: “Every time you try to forget who I am, I’ll be right there to remind you again.”
Captions: “I’m just too distracted with the life I’m tryna paint.”
Another 80’s vibe type track. The Michael Jackson influence is strong in this one. I fucks with the message of this song which is to basically live in the moment and enjoy the time you’re having with someone else. We ain’t gotta get married after this or date, let’s just have a good time together whiles we’re here. One of the best things about this song though is how it sequences into…
“You told me not to worry about those guys…” – The Weeknd
This song is nothing short of incredible. Lyrically easy to take in, but the Weeknd’s vocals on this are so concise and impactful, especially towards the end of the song when that bridge comes in. “Wipe…the….lust from your eyes. I see that you’re not mine. I can see the lust, in your eyes, you can’t hiiiiiideee it! You can’t be the one, I realize we’re divided!” That shit has me singing at the top of my lungs every got damn time and I don’t give a fuck who hears it! (I swear I be sounding just like the Weeknd at that part too lmao). 100% I fucks with this song anytime and anywhere.
Captions: “I hear the secrets that you keep when you talk in your sleep.”
7) True Colors
This man’s been living out in the states too long cause he spelled this shit “colors” instead of “colours”, but in terms of sound and sequencing; this song is a lot slower than Secrets. It does however follow the story line of Secrets in that, the Weeknd is now exploring a deeper relationship with this girl and trying to see what she’s really about. Once he knows the real her, he’s willing to give his all. The vocals are all the way on point on this one. The song is really situational though, I feel you gotta be in the mood to want to hear it, otherwise it’s usually a pass. I don’t hate it, but I’m not much of a fan of it either.
Captions: “Paint me a picture with your true colors”
8) Stargirl (Feat. Lana Del Rey)
On my first listen I didn’t care for this song whatsoever, but maaaaaan was my ass wrong about this glorious interlude. This track is so incredibly raw, Lana bodies her part from start to finish, and she gets to talking her shit on this too. Once I took in her lyrics, she caught me in a trance; like you gotta want to have bae for dessert anytime you hear this. Mark me as an official fan of Lana Del Rey, she’s got pipes.
Captions: “I just wanna see you shine, cause I know you are a stargirl.”
9) Sidewalks (Feat. Kendrick Lamar)
I know some people were hating on me because I wasn’t fucking with this song when I heard it. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the Weeknd’s part was dope, but being the huge Kendrick fan that I am, I felt his part was out of place. After a couple of listens and some studying of his verse (don’t judge everything by 1 try), I came to love this song. The song’s message being a deep one, in that rather than getting caught up in the streets, both artists took a safer route (sidewalks) and are being led to more success. This shit is so smooth and chill which is quite a change from the first half of the album, but it’s a great transition into the second half. Shout out to
Sam Smith Daniel Wilson for the vocals too.
- “Grew up with no father, so nobody ever sonned me.”
- “Sidewalks saved my life, they don’t ever lie.”
10) Six Feet Under
Once again, the sequencing on this album is A1. The transition from Sidewalks into this is such a smooth one. In my opinion the song could be about a stripper getting her paper by any means necessary, or a boss ass bitch, but either way she’s only focused on money and nothing else. The female background vocals just add a whole other layer to the vibe of this song, but caution when playing this in public cause I can’t count how many times I thought someone might’ve been talking to me whenever those vocals went off. Another magnificent thing about the song is how the Weeknd switches up the flow for his 2nd verse and has it sounding like the sequel to Low Life, which was another hit by Future and the Weeknd. Overall this song’s mad catchy and it’s got a cool vibe.
- “She ain’t got time for lovin’, Louis Vitton her husband.”
- “She’d rather die in the club til she…Six feet under.”
- “She tryna live a life so fancy. She wanna pull up in Bentley.”
To be honest, this is where I feel the album falters. The switch from Six Feet Under to Love to Lay isn’t a great one either especially considering how great the sequencing of the album’s been. I feel that Ordinary Life would have worked better as song 11. Additionally, these 5 songs don’t really stand out as much as the first half of the album did. The songs aren’t horrible, but they definitely feel like fillers. They’re really dependent on the mood you’re in more so than playing them for their content. There’s songs that do stand out like A Lonely Night where the Weeknd channels Michael again, and Ordinary Life is solid too. I know there’s others who enjoy the hell out of songs like Love to Lay. However, personally I never find myself seeking these songs out, even after multiple runs through this album.
16) All I Know (Feat. Future)
“ALLLLLL I KNOWWWWW…All I know is this…” shit is a phenomenal record. I need a Future and the Weeknd collaboration album immediately fam’. These two together = HITS. Not only is this song lyrical in that the Weeknd speaks on this girl being insecure from past relationships, but the beat is the embodiment of Russell Westbrook. Like I’ve already choreographed my own dance routine for this track because no matter where I hear it catch the need to body it. Not to mention, the hook; although very basic, has incredible vocal work and I don’t think I’ve ever sang this song without yelling my heart out (prolly why there’s a break in the middle). Future does his thing on this too, the way the beat switches up for him is perfect and his flow rides effortlessly to the end. Top 3 song off the album.
- “I know, there’s been, stigma, round me. I know, you’ve heard, things about me.”
- “I could, tell why, you would, doubt me.”
- “I know like you know, I keep that trigger beside me. I know like you know, you just another body.”
17) Die For You
Okayyyyyy. This is that shit that you play when you’re either in the shower, in your feelings, or you’re in love…maybe all three, but the song goes so hard that you can listen to it on the regular too. This that shit you’d play on your portable stereo outside your girl’s window at 3 in the morning. You gotta serenade a woman to this one time in your life. The Weeknd really gets to talking his shit on this too. It’s really got that old R&B feel to it and it’s rare to hear the Weeknd have a whole song dedicated to this subject matter, but he kills it. This could have very well been on Beauty and the Madness, it’s very reminiscent of that album’s sound. And I’m not going to lie, I love this song.
Captions: “I’m finding ways to articulate the feeling I’m going through.”
18) I Feel It Coming (Feat. Daft Punk)
Starts with Daft Punk, ends with Daft Punk. Genius. This song is the closest the Weeknd has sounded to MJ on this song. That first verse really had me feeling like Michael was still alive. It’s a feel good way to end the album. Daft Punk’s touch on this is great too, especially when they add to the vocals of the hook. I don’t often play it, but I’ll let it ride if it comes on.
From start to finish Starboy is an incredible auditory experience that explores a variety of themes ranging from lust, to love, to drugs, to vulnerability and everything else that embodies the human experience. The vocals, sequencing, feature selection and production are all phenomenal. One of the greatest things about this album is that each subsequent listen brought about a new song that I enjoyed. Some days I’d have Party Monster on repeat and on others, Die For You would be in rotation all day long. I really found more to love each time I listened to the album. The first part of the album is still a better experience than the latter half, but there’s always been some enjoyable aspect in listening to the 2nd half. Hopefully someone or some substance can put me on to the tracks 11-15 lmao. Either way, the album is a huge step for the Weeknd and I loved every minute of it.
Starboy is a hit. 9 out of 10.