Starboy finds Abel grappling with the fame he found when “I Can’t Feel My Face” took off. “I just won a new award for a kids show/Talking ’bout a face numbing off a bag of blow,” he sings on “Reminder,” which is perhaps the album’s most famous lyric. But he doesn’t run away from the fame, creating one of his poppiest, most MJ-like creations with “I Feel It Coming.” In some ways, Starboy is the sound of confusion. The Weeknd can’t decide if he wants to be the nihilist of old, whose crew “don’t pray for love/We just pray for cars,” or a pop star who writes ballads with titles like “True Colors.” The fact that he tries to have all of the above is simultaneously the album’s biggest strength and the thing that stops it from being an indispensible addition to his catalog. —Shawn Setaro

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