The Weeknd dropped his album ten days ago, and I am now finally ready to talk about it. Technically, he released three bonus tracks yesterday (March 30), which I still haven’t fully digested. However, the show must go on.
If you’re wondering how I am writing this so calmly, it’s because on Day 1, I spilled wine all over my computer in excitement. My 2013 Macbook almost did not recover from that, truly. Also, not going to lie, this album has me moody as hell. The lyrics are dark and sad, in OG Abel fashion. However, the beat is bangin. So, clearly, my mind and my body are in two different stages. Do we want to dance or cry? I guess in quarantine both is acceptable. Also, can I just point out that the music hits so different while being locked inside your house. You have no choice but to digest the lyrics quicker. My usual method of operation is to drive around and listen to a new album. Sounds like a total waste of gas and extremely pointless, but IT’S MY GROOVE AND I LIKE IT. However, driving with the windows down and music blasting, is a little less appealing with a nasty virus circulating.
Okay let’s get into it, bonus tracks included.
So, here’s the deal with The Weeknd. His albums are meant to tell a story. Same goes for his music videos. If you check out his Youtube channel, start with Heartless. Every recent video after that picks up where the last one left off. Keep this in mind as we move down the line of songs.
We start off with the track, “Alone Again.” Yep, you already know this shit is going to be sad. However, you keep going, because you’re addicted to his voice. I won’t go track by track, because you lazy asses can do that yourself. For this album, The Weeknd went rogue with his promo. From teasing songs on his Instagram stories, to full on performing an unreleased song on SNL, we really had no idea where he was going. He debuted “Scared To Live,” on SNL, as a shock to everyone. My initial reaction was, am I a fake fan?? I assumed this song had been out for ages, and I just missed it. However, upon taking to Twitter, I realized it was brand new. It was lovely. The song has him really self reflecting, and giving his ex (Bella – we all know), some closure. Admitting he was the reason she was hurting, and that she shouldn’t be scared to go live her life without him. WHAT A KING.
The album gets a little darker, before we can all start dancing again. “Escape From LA,” really struck me immediately. It’s honestly a little sad once you realize the parallels from his first album to now. If you are a fan of “The Morning,” you’ll know that he was talking about California being the goal. “Order plane tickets, Cali is the mission…” You know. However, like any other person who moves to LA expecting something spectacular, he is over it. He sings, “Cali was the mission, but now a n**** leavin.” A little sad that this city couldn’t be what he wanted. I will say, growing up in LA’s surrounding areas vs. moving here fresh, sounds like an entirely different experience. If you don’t have the right mindset, all of a sudden you’re stuck with superficial people, wanting to live an Instagrammable life. No substance. However, I think he might be doing just fine.
A cult favorite, “Heartless,” is up next. Here is where he starts to take us home dancing. Also, remember when I mentioned everything telling a story? This chunk of songs is where it becomes clear. Initially, I had no idea. After seeing a well thought out Reddit thread, I finally saw the light. In this track he talks about being back to his old ways. Money, sex, and drugs. Casual! The next song, while still an absolute bop, gets a little dark. The end we hear sirens, which leads into another favorite, “Blinding Lights.” Here’s where the Reddit thread threw me for a loop. APPARENTLY the lights that are blinding him, are the AMBULANCE LIGHTS??? Who knew?? Not me. I was busy Tik Tok dancing to the song.
Let’s talk about the bonus tracks he released only a MERE day ago. I feel like they have been out for longer, because I got lucky when I popped in on his live stream last week. He was playing them like they were nothing. No biggie, just some unreleased songs you guys have never heard. They’re all extremely mellow. Songs about missing his ex. Classic. And then a “Final Lullaby” to end it all. Who doesn’t love a lil sleepy time trio to fuel their six quarantine naps?
I am going to end this by talking out of my ass for a second. Yes, it sucks that everything is cancelled. Yes, it sucks that we are all out of work (or some of us). Also, yes, it sucks that we can’t be social with the ones we love. BUUUUUUT, it doesn’t suck that all our artists are releasing things they’re proud of, even in moments like this. So, let’s take the time to stream their albums, watch their livestream, and give them praise. After all, right now, all we have is music to get us through this. Okay that is probably not true for 99% of people. It feels like it though.
So lastly, wash your hands you disgusting monsters. I don’t know about you, but I am so beyond ready to go to an open plot of land and start dancing.
See you later skaters.
PS: Remember when I saw The Weeknd for the first time? Check below.