The Weeknd's new album transformed a previously dour singer with odd ideas about sexuality and a self-indulgent sense for songwriting into a dour singer with odd ideas about sexuality humbled enough to make Max Martin-produced pop records. For his fans, this might be a sell-out maneuver; for those of us willing to put up with a lot if the songwriting is there, it was a huge step forward. In an interview with The New York Times, his team suggested uptempo '80s pastiche record "In the Night" was his "Billie Jean." But that record feels forced, perhaps a bit of cocaine-induced hubris. Much more low-key yet startlingly effective is the Kanye West-produced "Tell Your Friends." With its carefully placed piano sample from Soul Dog's "Can't Stop Loving You"—a record also swiped for P.A. and Eightball's classic "Sundown"—the song suggests the accidental pop brilliance Kanye pulls off at his best, records that shrug their way into being much bigger than they should be.
The Weeknd "Tell Your Friends"
Nov. 4–5, 2017 in Long Beach, CAExclusive drops, one-of-a-kind art, and
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