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If you were hoping The Weeknd’s upcoming third studio album Starboy would be a repeat of 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness, you may want to stick with the title track.
When the single “Starboy” and accompanying album popped up on iTunes last week for pre-order, only one other track out of the disc’s listed 18 appeared with a name. Little was known about “False Alarm” at the time, but now the new song has leaked a day ahead of its iTunes release and any preconceived notions of what we thought it would sound like are on the cutting room floor along with The Weeknd’s hair.
When the video for “Starboy” debuted online yesterday, we watched as the smooth R&B underground artist-turned A-lister killed his past both metaphorically and literally, strangling his old self, chopping off his trademark locks and destroying all his gold albums and awards. So, it’s not like we weren’t warned.
Still, today’s new single has us feeling very ‘new album, who dis?’
“Starboy” seemed like a necessary evolution from Beauty Behind The Madness, with The Weeknd enlisting Daft Punk to craft a single that had the radio friendliness of “Can’t Feel My Face” along with the grit of tracks like “The Hills” and “Tell Your Friends.” But with “False Alarm,” The Weeknd has constructed a sound that is entirely new for the Toronto artist.
Part EDM, part ’80’s throwback, part horror film soundtrack, if it weren’t for the lyrics about drinking, drugs and untrustworthy women we may not believe it was The Weeknd. The notoriously sultry singer seems to have come alive in “False Alarm,” singing with an urgency and energy that we’ve yet to hear in two albums, three mixtapes, a compilation record and countless feature appearances.
It’s no secret that Starboy is one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. The MTV EMA’s nominated the video for “Starboy” earlier this week before it had even been released. The Weeknd is tapped to perform during Saturday Night Live’s season premiere this weekend. But will Starboy be able to live up to the intimidating success of Beauty Behind the Madness?
We’re not sure who this version of The Weeknd is quite yet, but we’re really excited to get to know him.
The Weeknd’s third studio album Starboy will be released November 25.