The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1 kHz | Time – 65:13 minutes | 741 MB | Genre: R&B, Funk, Soul
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © The Weeknd XO, Inc/Republic
Abel Tesfaye, known by his stage name The Weeknd, is a Canadian Indie R&B singer, songwriter and record producer. His second studio album features guest appearances and production from Labrinth, Ed Sheeran, Kanye West and Lana Del Rey. Beauty Behind the Madness received generally positive reviews from music critics.
The Weeknd is a slightly nicer, and much more firmly structured, songwriter on “Beauty Behind the Madness,” his bid for pop outreach. He has expanded his longtime group of collaborators to include Top 10 hitmakers, among them Stephan Moccio, who helped write Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” and the ubiquitous Max Martin and his associates.
On this album, clear-cut intros, verses, choruses and bridges have replaced bleary incantations, and the music has moved from the shadowy haze of trip-hop to an emphatic, monumental clarity — high-end pop craftsmanship. The production still conjures huge spaces, but now they are brightly illuminated, with each sound in crisp focus. There are echoes of Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode and above all Michael Jackson, both in the production and in the way the Weeknd makes his voice tense, plaintive and percussive. The makeover has already paid off in two hit songs: “Earned It,” from the “Fifty Shades of Grey” soundtrack, with Mr. Moccio among the songwriters, and “Can’t Feel My Face,” with Mr. Martin and others.
The Weeknd has found new ways to mix darkness and light. Over its danceable backbeat, “Can’t Feel My Face” equates cocaine addiction with a love affair. “In the Night,” an even more upbeat Max Martin collaboration (with a triplet undercurrent like Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”) sketches the story of a girl damaged by child sexual abuse.
But the emerging, pop-friendly Weeknd knows he has to offer something else: affection and empathy, or at least a semblance of them. “Earned It” is a relatively un-hedged love song, and so is “As You Are,” a full-fledged vow of devotion: “Show me your broken heart and all your scars/Baby I’ll take, I’ll take, I’ll take, I’ll take you as you are.” But at the end, it slows down and fades to an uncertain plea: “Baby, won’t you take me as I am?” The show of vulnerability is pop strategy that works.
01 – Real Life
02 – Losers (feat. Labrinth)
03 – Tell Your Friends
04 – Often
05 – The Hills
06 – Acquainted
07 – Can’t Feel My Face
08 – Shameless
09 – Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)
10 – In The Night
11 – As You Are
12 – Dark Times (feat. Ed Sheeran)
13 – Prisoner (feat. Lana Del Rey)
14 – Angel