We gave it a B+
“Look what you’ve done/I’m a motherf—ing starboy,” accuses Abel Tesfaye, aka the Weeknd, on his new single and title track to Starboy, his recently announced third studio album out Nov. 25.
He’s right: In the past year, the 26-year-old has scored two No.1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Can’t Feel My Face,” “The Hills”), won a Grammy (Best R&B Performance for “Earned It”), and was nominated for an Academy Award (“Earned It,” was included on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack). He’s collaborated with Kanye West on “FML,” off The Life of Pablo, and Beyoncé for “6 Inch,” off April’s earth-shattering Lemonade.
He’s also ready to talk about fame. Over a propulsive, Daft Punk soundscape he brags about how he he “made your whole year in a week” and how both his main and side-chick are out of your league. He doesn’t care about the competition (“I don’t ever listen”) and he already knows the ladies like his tune (“Girls get loose when they hear this song”). The Weeknd may be a star, but he hasn’t forgotten what made him: lascivious lyrics and a snarling, occasionally cruel look at his surroundings.
Daft Punk’s touch is light—all but reserved to the four-beat bass drum guiding the track and an “ah ha” vocal-loop lining the chorus—but the song more than makes good on its promise, marrying Tesafaye’s dark sensibilities with the French electronic duo’s dance-floor tested flare.