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The Weeknd|Beauty Behind The Madness (Explicit Version)

Beauty Behind The Madness (Explicit Version)

The Weeknd

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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

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Beauty Behind The Madness (Explicit Version)

The Weeknd

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1
Real Life Explicit
00:03:43

Stephan Moccio, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Paul Bushnell, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - DAVE REITZAS, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jason Quenneville, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Jonathan Martin Berry, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Greg Eliason, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jay Paul Bicknell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

2
Losers Explicit
00:04:41

Timothy McKenzie, ComposerLyricist - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joshua Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Labrinth, Producer, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jason Quenneville, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Carlo Montagnese, ComposerLyricist - Carlo "Illangelo" Montagnese, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

3
Tell Your Friends Explicit
00:05:34

Robert Holmes, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Additional Producer - Kanye West, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joshua Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jason Quenneville, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christopher Pope, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Carlo Montagnese, ComposerLyricist - Carl Marshall, ComposerLyricist - The Pope, Producer - Carlo "Illangelo" Montagnese, Producer

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

4
Often Explicit
00:04:09

Danny Schofield, ComposerLyricist - Osman Ismen, ComposerLyricist - Jean-Marie Horvat, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Dave Kutch, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ahmad Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Ben Diehl, ComposerLyricist - Jason Quenneville, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, Producer, MainArtist - Brandon "Bizzy" Hollemon, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Andy Barnes, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Abel Tesfaye, ComposerLyricist - Ali Kocatepe, ComposerLyricist - Sabahattin Ali, ComposerLyricist - Jason "DaHeala" Quenneville, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben "Billions" Diehl, Producer

℗ 2014 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

5
The Hills Explicit
00:04:02

Mano, Producer - Ahmad Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Nate Albert, A&R - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Wendy Goldstein, A&R - Abel Tesfaye, ComposerLyricist - Carlo Montagnese, ComposerLyricist - Emmanuel Nickerson, ComposerLyricist - Carlo "Illangelo" Montagnese, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

6
Acquainted Explicit
00:05:48

Danny Schofield, ComposerLyricist - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Diehl, ComposerLyricist - Jason Quenneville, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Carlo Montagnese, ComposerLyricist - DannyBoyStyles, Producer - Carlo "Illangelo" Montagnese, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Ben "Billions" Diehl, Producer

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

7
Can't Feel My Face
00:03:33

Max Martin, Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Savan Kotecha, ComposerLyricist - Peter Svensson, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Holland, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ali Payami, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Abel Tesfaye, ComposerLyricist - Cory Bice, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Carlsson, Sound Editor, StudioPersonnel - Jeremy Lertola, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

8
Shameless Explicit
00:04:13

Max Martin, Producer - Savan Kotecha, ComposerLyricist - Peter Svensson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Klas Åhlund, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - John Hanes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Holland, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ali Payami, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Ahmad Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Mattias Bylund, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Mattias Johansson, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, Co-Producer, ComposerLyricist - Cory Bice, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Carlsson, Editor, StudioPersonnel - David Bukovinszky, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Jeremy Lertola, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

9
Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey) Explicit
00:04:37

Stephan Moccio, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Paul Bushnell, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - DAVE REITZAS, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Ahmad Balshe, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Abel Tesfaye, ComposerLyricist - Jonathan Martin Berry, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jason "DaHeala" Quenneville, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Jay Paul Bicknell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Evin O’Cleary, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

10
In The Night Explicit
00:03:55

Max Martin, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Savan Kotecha, ComposerLyricist - Peter Svensson, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Holland, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ali Payami, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Ahmad Balshe, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, Co-Producer, ComposerLyricist - Cory Bice, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Carlsson, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Jeremy Lertola, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

11
As You Are Explicit
00:05:40

Danny Schofield, ComposerLyricist - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joshua Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ahmad Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Jason Quenneville, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Carlo Montagnese, ComposerLyricist - DannyBoyStyles, Producer - Carlo "Illangelo" Montagnese, Producer - Ben "Billions" Diehl, Producer

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

12
Dark Times Explicit
00:04:20
13
Prisoner Explicit
00:04:34

Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Lana Del Rey, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, Co-Producer, ComposerLyricist - Carlo Montagnese, ComposerLyricist - Carlo "Illangelo" Montagnese, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

14
Angel Explicit
00:06:17

Danny Schofield, ComposerLyricist - Stephan Moccio, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Paul Bushnell, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Vinnie Colaiuta, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - DAVE REITZAS, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Diehl, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Jonathan Martin Berry, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Greg Eliason, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Maty Noyes, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Jay Paul Bicknell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Gaffney, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

Album review

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

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