Instead of simply allowing the Weeknd to advance to the next stage of his career by letting Max Martin give a spit shine to his debauched late night haunts, we felt the need to compare the Torontonian—with worse dance moves than Justin Bieber—to the late, great Michael Jackson. Why? Probably because Usher is washed, and Justin Timberlake no longer owes Live Nation any paper and, therefore, is no longer making music. Or perhaps it’s because Mr. Martin laced Abel with the amazing Jackson-esque “Can’t Feel My Face. If only that's where he stopped. The Weeknd was also given the less spectacular “In the Night, a song that sounds like an approximation of a track that would have been left in the console during the Thriller sessions. “In the Night” isn’t the worst song on Beauty Behind the Madness—that award goes to “Losers—but it’s the one that most distracts from everything that’s great about the Weeknd. It's so transparent about its idolatry that it's tough to listen to the song without thinking about the motive behind it. Abel Tesfaye is not the second coming of Michael Jackson. He’s a guy who sings tenderly about horrific bedroom activities; as he puts it, “the nigga with the hair singing bout pills, fucking bitches, living life so trill.” Why do we refuse to let him be that? —Damien Scott

Also Watch

Close