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R&B - Released February 5, 2021 | Universal Republic Records

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The Weeknd's career deserved a best of. Shortly after the release and the worldwide success of After Hours in 2020, and without a doubt one of his best projects, The Highlights is a synthesis of ten years of music, ten years spent defining modern pop. So, let's say it right away, there are no surprises here in terms of the track list. We find The Weeknd's hits, including the latest phenomenon, Blinding Lights, but also I Feel it Coming , a duet with Daft Punk, or The Hills, which truly transformed him into a global pop star in 2016. With no new material, this Greatest Hits allows you to retrace the Canadian's discography, but also to make some detours through projects other than his albums, in particular thanks to Earned It from the soundtrack to the film 50 Shades of Grey, to Pray For Me from Black Panther, or Love Me Harder, featuring Ariana Grande and released on the album My Everything by the latter in 2014. © Brice Miclet/Qobuz
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R&B - Released February 5, 2021 | Universal Republic Records

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Released two days before the Weeknd provided the halftime entertainment at Super Bowl LV, The Highlights also happened to arrive near the tenth anniversary of House of Balloons, the singer's debut mixtape. Considering where he's gone in that time, from a shadowy unknown to a global pop star, there's no knocking the impulse to look back. In February 2021, the Weeknd was still deep in the promotional cycle for After Hours, but it's nonetheless surprising that more selections are from that album -- including three singles that went Top Ten in his native Canada and the U.S. -- than any other Weeknd release. Beauty Behind the Madness and Starboy, the two previous number one albums, are also well represented, leaving the remainder to be drawn from House of Balloons and the My Dear Melancholy, EP (while the second and third tapes and Kiss Land are shut out). This also gathers the hits that originated on the soundtracks for Fifty Shades of Grey and Black Panther, plus the Ariana Grande duet "Love Me Harder." The Highlights is a well-selected point of entry. That it rarely dips into album cuts and doesn't include all of the major singles speaks to the depth of the catalog. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released February 5, 2021 | Universal Republic Records

The Weeknd's career deserved a best of. Shortly after the release and the worldwide success of After Hours in 2020, and without a doubt one of his best projects, The Highlights is a synthesis of ten years of music, ten years spent defining modern pop. So, let's say it right away, there are no surprises here in terms of the track list. We find The Weeknd's hits, including the latest phenomenon, Blinding Lights, but also I Feel it Coming , a duet with Daft Punk, or The Hills, which truly transformed him into a global pop star in 2016. With no new material, this Greatest Hits allows you to retrace the Canadian's discography, but also to make some detours through projects other than his albums, in particular thanks to Earned It from the soundtrack to the film 50 Shades of Grey, to Pray For Me from Black Panther, or Love Me Harder, featuring Ariana Grande and released on the album My Everything by the latter in 2014. © Brice Miclet/Qobuz
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R&B - Released February 5, 2021 | Universal Republic Records

Released two days before the Weeknd provided the halftime entertainment at Super Bowl LV, The Highlights also happened to arrive near the tenth anniversary of House of Balloons, the singer's debut mixtape. Considering where he's gone in that time, from a shadowy unknown to a global pop star, there's no knocking the impulse to look back. In February 2021, the Weeknd was still deep in the promotional cycle for After Hours, but it's nonetheless surprising that more selections are from that album -- including three singles that went Top Ten in his native Canada and the U.S. -- than any other Weeknd release. Beauty Behind the Madness and Starboy, the two previous number one albums, are also well represented, leaving the remainder to be drawn from House of Balloons and the My Dear Melancholy, EP (while the second and third tapes and Kiss Land are shut out). This also gathers the hits that originated on the soundtracks for Fifty Shades of Grey and Black Panther, plus the Ariana Grande duet "Love Me Harder." The Highlights is a well-selected point of entry. That it rarely dips into album cuts and doesn't include all of the major singles speaks to the depth of the catalog. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released September 25, 2020 | Universal Republic Records

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R&B - Released September 25, 2020 | Universal Republic Records

R&B - Released September 11, 2020 | Universal Republic Records

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R&B - Released September 11, 2020 | Universal Republic Records

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R&B - Released March 30, 2018 | Universal Republic Records

The Weeknd is going back to his roots on this surprise album (or half album) that he has gifted the world. After a collaborative album with Daft Punk (Starboy), which shot him to international stardom and also brought him a Grammy, the R&B singer from “The 6” (Toronto Metropolitan Area) has shifted back to a more personal effort. Abel Tesfaye, or alias The Weeknd co-writes 6 deeply personal tracks that focus on love, drugs and sex, the perfect formula for an R&B album. He opens up more than ever about his current trials and tribulations with relationships, but his pain is our gain. The 21 minutes of music is vintage The Weeknd from his album Trilogy, deeply chilling with distressed synths and spacey falsetto vocals. OG fans of The Weeknd will love this record, while it will still create many new ones.
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R&B - Released March 30, 2018 | Universal Republic Records

Coming off multi-platinum, Grammy-winning success with Starboy and apt placement on the Black Panther soundtrack, Abel Tesfaye shirks candy-coated summertime jams for aggrieved ballads with this six-track EP, issued with little advance notice. Considering its unswerving focus on romantic anguish and self-medication, and a listener's natural inclination to associate the pronouns with Tesfaye's famous exes, the EP might seem extreme, but it retraces familiar shapes in condensed form. Most obviously, "Call Out My Name" resembles "Earned It" with synthesized menace in place of strings and a dash of the distorted terror previously heard on "The Hills." In one verse directed at the object of his unrequited affection, Tesfaye confesses that he wasn't truthful when he said he "didn't feel nothing," then lashes out for being taken at his initial word and treated in kind, "just another pit stop." In that regard, the level of emotional maturity hasn't changed much since the mixtapes. Apart from the sly and sweet 2-step rhythm on "Wasted Times," the sound of the EP is bleary R&B with beats that drag and lurch, suited for Tesfaye's routine swings between self-pity and sexual vanity, chemically enhanced from one extreme to the other. For all his rehashed scenes, Tesfaye can be one of the most affecting vocalists in contemporary pop. When he sings "I got two red pills to take the blues away" in "Privilege," he might as well be slouched in the driver's seat of one of his luxury sports cars, staring into his open palm like he's holding all that he truly values. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released March 30, 2018 | Universal Republic Records

Coming off multi-platinum, Grammy-winning success with Starboy and apt placement on the Black Panther soundtrack, Abel Tesfaye shirks candy-coated summertime jams for aggrieved ballads with this six-track EP, issued with little advance notice. Considering its unswerving focus on romantic anguish and self-medication, and a listener's natural inclination to associate the pronouns with Tesfaye's famous exes, the EP might seem extreme, but it retraces familiar shapes in condensed form. Most obviously, "Call Out My Name" resembles "Earned It" with synthesized menace in place of strings and a dash of the distorted terror previously heard on "The Hills." In one verse directed at the object of his unrequited affection, Tesfaye confesses that he wasn't truthful when he said he "didn't feel nothing," then lashes out for being taken at his initial word and treated in kind, "just another pit stop." In that regard, the level of emotional maturity hasn't changed much since the mixtapes. Apart from the sly and sweet 2-step rhythm on "Wasted Times," the sound of the EP is bleary R&B with beats that drag and lurch, suited for Tesfaye's routine swings between self-pity and sexual vanity, chemically enhanced from one extreme to the other. For all his rehashed scenes, Tesfaye can be one of the most affecting vocalists in contemporary pop. When he sings "I got two red pills to take the blues away" in "Privilege," he might as well be slouched in the driver's seat of one of his luxury sports cars, staring into his open palm like he's holding all that he truly values. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released August 1, 2017 | Universal Republic Records

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R&B - Released November 25, 2016 | Universal Republic Records

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The extent of the 2015 Weeknd commercial rebound, symbolized by platinum certifications for Beauty Behind the Madness and all four of its singles, didn't merely embolden Abel Tesfaye. On this follow-up's fourth track, a blithe midtempo cut where Tesfaye takes a swipe at pretenders while boasting about drinking codeine out of one of his trophies, the level of success is a source of amusement. He notes the absurdity in taking a "kids' show" award for "Can't Feel My Face," in which he was "talkin' 'bout a face numbin' off a bag of blow." The track actually lost to Adele's "Hello," but it clearly, somewhat comically, reached an unintended demographic. It comes as no surprise that Tesfaye, on his third proper album, doesn't attempt to optimize the reach of his biggest hit by consciously targeting youngsters. He sings of being a "Starboy" with access to a fleet of sports cars, but he's a "motherfuckin' starboy," one who is 26 years old and proud to observe his woman snort cocaine off his fancy table. While Starboy often reflects an increased opulence in the personal and professional aspects of Tesfaye's life -- from more upscale pronouns to expensive collaborations with the likes of Daft Punk (two) and "Can't Feel My Face" producers Max Martin and Ali Payami (four) -- the dark moments of vulnerability are pitch black. Lines like "I switch up my cup, I kill any pain" could have come from Tesfaye's mixtape debut, yet there are new levels of torment. In "Ordinary Life," he considers driving off a Mulholland Drive cliff, James Dean style, wishing he could swap everything for angel status. It's followed with "Nothing Without You," a ballad of toxic dysfunction. He asks his lover if she'd feel guilty for not answering his call if he happened to die that night. It's not all dread and depravity. There's some sense of joy in a one-night stand, and an echo of "Say Say Say" Michael Jackson, on the Luomo-ish house track "Rockin'." Contrition is shown in the slick retro-modern disco-funk of "A Lonely Night." Ironically enough, in the aching "True Colors," Tesfaye sounds a little insecure about a lover's past. The album's lighter, comparatively sweeter parts -- the Tears for Fears-sampling/Romantics-referencing "Secrets" and the breezy and only slightly devilish "I Feel It Coming" among them -- are all welcome highlights. When pared down to its ten best songs, Starboy sounds like Tesfaye's most accomplished work. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released November 25, 2016 | Universal Republic Records

The extent of the 2015 Weeknd commercial rebound, symbolized by platinum certifications for Beauty Behind the Madness and all four of its singles, didn't merely embolden Abel Tesfaye. On this follow-up's fourth track, a blithe midtempo cut where Tesfaye takes a swipe at pretenders while boasting about drinking codeine out of one of his trophies, the level of success is a source of amusement. He notes the absurdity in taking a "kids' show" award for "Can't Feel My Face," in which he was "talkin' 'bout a face numbin' off a bag of blow." The track actually lost to Adele's "Hello," but it clearly, somewhat comically, reached an unintended demographic. It comes as no surprise that Tesfaye, on his third proper album, doesn't attempt to optimize the reach of his biggest hit by consciously targeting youngsters. He sings of being a "Starboy" with access to a fleet of sports cars, but he's a "motherfuckin' starboy," one who is 26 years old and proud to observe his woman snort cocaine off his fancy table. While Starboy often reflects an increased opulence in the personal and professional aspects of Tesfaye's life -- from more upscale pronouns to expensive collaborations with the likes of Daft Punk (two) and "Can't Feel My Face" producers Max Martin and Ali Payami (four) -- the dark moments of vulnerability are pitch black. Lines like "I switch up my cup, I kill any pain" could have come from Tesfaye's mixtape debut, yet there are new levels of torment. In "Ordinary Life," he considers driving off a Mulholland Drive cliff, James Dean style, wishing he could swap everything for angel status. It's followed with "Nothing Without You," a ballad of toxic dysfunction. He asks his lover if she'd feel guilty for not answering his call if he happened to die that night. It's not all dread and depravity. There's some sense of joy in a one-night stand, and an echo of "Say Say Say" Michael Jackson, on the Luomo-ish house track "Rockin'." Contrition is shown in the slick retro-modern disco-funk of "A Lonely Night." Ironically enough, in the aching "True Colors," Tesfaye sounds a little insecure about a lover's past. The album's lighter, comparatively sweeter parts -- the Tears for Fears-sampling/Romantics-referencing "Secrets" and the breezy and only slightly devilish "I Feel It Coming" among them -- are all welcome highlights. When pared down to its ten best songs, Starboy sounds like Tesfaye's most accomplished work. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released November 25, 2016 | Universal Republic Records

The extent of the 2015 Weeknd commercial rebound, symbolized by platinum certifications for Beauty Behind the Madness and all four of its singles, didn't merely embolden Abel Tesfaye. On this follow-up's fourth track, a blithe midtempo cut where Tesfaye takes a swipe at pretenders while boasting about drinking codeine out of one of his trophies, the level of success is a source of amusement. He notes the absurdity in taking a "kids' show" award for "Can't Feel My Face," in which he was "talkin' 'bout a face numbin' off a bag of blow." The track actually lost to Adele's "Hello," but it clearly, somewhat comically, reached an unintended demographic. It comes as no surprise that Tesfaye, on his third proper album, doesn't attempt to optimize the reach of his biggest hit by consciously targeting youngsters. He sings of being a "Starboy" with access to a fleet of sports cars, but he's a "motherfuckin' starboy," one who is 26 years old and proud to observe his woman snort cocaine off his fancy table. While Starboy often reflects an increased opulence in the personal and professional aspects of Tesfaye's life -- from more upscale pronouns to expensive collaborations with the likes of Daft Punk (two) and "Can't Feel My Face" producers Max Martin and Ali Payami (four) -- the dark moments of vulnerability are pitch black. Lines like "I switch up my cup, I kill any pain" could have come from Tesfaye's mixtape debut, yet there are new levels of torment. In "Ordinary Life," he considers driving off a Mulholland Drive cliff, James Dean style, wishing he could swap everything for angel status. It's followed with "Nothing Without You," a ballad of toxic dysfunction. He asks his lover if she'd feel guilty for not answering his call if he happened to die that night. It's not all dread and depravity. There's some sense of joy in a one-night stand, and an echo of "Say Say Say" Michael Jackson, on the Luomo-ish house track "Rockin'." Contrition is shown in the slick retro-modern disco-funk of "A Lonely Night." Ironically enough, in the aching "True Colors," Tesfaye sounds a little insecure about a lover's past. The album's lighter, comparatively sweeter parts -- the Tears for Fears-sampling/Romantics-referencing "Secrets" and the breezy and only slightly devilish "I Feel It Coming" among them -- are all welcome highlights. When pared down to its ten best songs, Starboy sounds like Tesfaye's most accomplished work. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Dance - Released November 11, 2016 | Universal Republic Records

"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." -- Grade: B+ © TiVo
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Electronic - Released November 6, 2015 | Universal Republic Records

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Electronic - Released November 6, 2015 | Universal Republic Records

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R&B - Released October 11, 2015 | Universal Republic Records

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R&B - Released August 28, 2015 | Universal Republic Records

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All bets regarding Abel Tesfaye's career arc were off once Trilogy, material previously released at no (financial) cost to the listener, went platinum. For a period after that, it seemed like the singer had peaked just short of pop-star status. His eager congregation pushed Kiss Land, the proper debut, to number two in the U.S., yet none of its singles, not even the one that featured Drake, reached the Hot 100. "Love Me Harder," a duet with labelmate Ariana Grande released in 2014, proved to be a masterstroke. It put Tesfaye in the Top Ten for the first time and began a streak of similarly effective singles that preceded -- and are included on -- Beauty Behind the Madness. "Earned It," a ballad recorded for the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, showed that he could adapt to a traditional pop backdrop. That cut a path for "The Hills," in which Tesfaye alleviated his "day one" base with a typically degenerate slow jam, co-produced by Illangelo, that affirmed "When I'm fucked up, that's the real me" while taking the toxic narrative a step further with lines like "Drugs started feelin' like it's decaf." And then "Can't Feel My Face," a sleek slice of retro-modern disco-funk produced by Max Martin and Ali Payami, landed in June 2015. An obvious pop move, it worked -- it went to number one in the U.S. and several other territories. Tesfaye skillfully delivered his biggest hooks as he sang about dependency in that part-anguished, part-euphoric fashion derived from Michael Jackson. Like its advance singles, the rest of Beauty Behind the Madness is R&B and pop as drug-den paella: chemical and sexual abasement, self-loathing, and self-absorbed belligerence over narcotized sludge and less expected moves that peak with the wholly sweet "As You Are" and crest with a big-band diversion on "Losers." Collaborations with Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, and Lana Del Rey add star power; the last of that pack contributes to a moment where Tesfaye turns another corner by acknowledging a dead end through the fog, "addicted to a life that's so empty and so cold." The commercial strides are obvious. The creative advancements are less apparent, but they're in there. © Andy Kellman /TiVo