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The Weeknd|Starboy (Explicit Version)

Starboy (Explicit Version)

The Weeknd

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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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Starboy (Explicit Version)

The Weeknd

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1
Starboy Explicit
00:03:50

Henry Walter, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Daft Punk, Producer, FeaturedArtist - Thomas Bangalter, ComposerLyricist - Josh Smith, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, ComposerLyricist - Florian Lagatta, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jason Quenneville, ComposerLyricist - Cirkut, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Martin "Doc" McKinney, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Weeknd, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Martin McKinney, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, Co-Producer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

2
Party Monster Explicit
00:04:09

MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Josh Smith, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Galland, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Diehl, ComposerLyricist - Martin "Doc" McKinney, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Weeknd, MainArtist - A. Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Lana Del Rey, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Martin McKinney, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Ben Billions, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robin Florent, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Jackson, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

3
False Alarm
00:03:40

Mano, Producer, Co-Producer - Henry Walter, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Josh Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Diehl, ComposerLyricist - Cirkut, Producer, Co-Producer - Martin "Doc" McKinney, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Weeknd, MainArtist - A. Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Martin McKinney, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Emmanuel Nickerson, ComposerLyricist - Ben Billions, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

4
Reminder Explicit
00:03:38

Mano, Producer - Henry Walter, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Josh Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Galland, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jason Quenneville, ComposerLyricist - Cirkut, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Martin McKinney, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, ComposerLyricist - Emmanuel Nickerson, ComposerLyricist - Dylan Wiggins, Bass Guitar, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Doc McKinney, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robin Florent, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Jackson, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

5
Rockin’ Explicit
00:03:52

Max Martin, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Savan Kotecha, ComposerLyricist - Peter Svensson, ComposerLyricist - J.P. Pennington, ComposerLyricist - Kevin Saunderson, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Holland, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ali Payami, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Shanna Jackson, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - A. Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, Co-Producer, ComposerLyricist - Cory Bice, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeremy Lertola, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kazue Lika Tatsushima, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Arthur Forest, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

6
Secrets
00:04:25

Jimmy Marinos, ComposerLyricist - Mike Skill, ComposerLyricist - George Canler, ComposerLyricist - Wally Palamarchuk, ComposerLyricist - Adrian Eccleston, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Henry Walter, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - ROLAND ORZABAL, ComposerLyricist - Josh Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Pete Solley, ComposerLyricist - Cirkut, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Martin McKinney, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Dylan Wiggins, Drums, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Doc McKinney, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

7
True Colors
00:03:26

John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Benny Blanco, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jacob Dutton, ComposerLyricist - Jake One, Producer - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - David Schwerkolt, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cashmere Cat, Producer - samuel Wishkoski, ComposerLyricist - Swish, Producer - Brittany Talia Hazzard, ComposerLyricist - Magnus Hoiberg, ComposerLyricist - William Walsh, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

8
Stargirl Interlude
00:01:51

Timothy McKenzie, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Josh Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Galland, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Labrinth, Producer - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Lana Del Rey, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist - Martin McKinney, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, ComposerLyricist - Doc McKinney, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robin Florent, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Jackson, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

9
Sidewalks Explicit
00:03:51

Dan Wilson, ComposerLyricist - Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Wilson, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Josh Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Galland, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kendrick Lamar, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Martin McKinney, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, ComposerLyricist - Doc McKinney, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robin Florent, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Jackson, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bobby Raps, Producer - Robert John Richardson, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

10
Six Feet Under Explicit
00:03:57

Henry Walter, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Josh Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Galland, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Diehl, ComposerLyricist - Jason Quenneville, ComposerLyricist - Cirkut, Producer - Future, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Nayvadius Wilburn, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - A. Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Martin McKinney, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Leland Wayne, ComposerLyricist - Metro Boomin, Producer - Doc McKinney, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Billions, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robin Florent, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Jackson, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

11
Love To Lay
00:03:43

Max Martin, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Savan Kotecha, ComposerLyricist - Peter Svensson, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Holland, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ali Payami, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - A. Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Cory Bice, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeremy Lertola, Asst. Recording Engineer, Clapping, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

12
A Lonely Night
00:03:40

Max Martin, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Savan Kotecha, ComposerLyricist - Peter Svensson, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Holland, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ryland Blackinton, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ali Payami, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Jason Quenneville, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - A. Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, ComposerLyricist - Noah "Mailbox" Passovoy, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cory Bice, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeremy Lertola, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

13
Attention Explicit
00:03:17

John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Benny Blanco, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Frank Dukes, Producer - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - David Schwerkolt, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mustafa Ahmed, ComposerLyricist - Cashmere Cat, Producer - Adam Feeney, ComposerLyricist - Magnus Hoiberg, ComposerLyricist - William Walsh, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

14
Ordinary Life
00:03:41

Max Martin, ComposerLyricist - Savan Kotecha, ComposerLyricist - Peter Svensson, ComposerLyricist - Henry Walter, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Ali Payami, ComposerLyricist - Cirkut, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Weeknd, MainArtist - A. Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Martin McKinney, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, ComposerLyricist - Cory Bice, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doc McKinney, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeremy Lertola, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

15
Nothing Without You
00:03:18

Henry Walter, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Josh Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Pentz, ComposerLyricist - Diplo, Producer - Ahmad Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Chris Galland, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Diehl, Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jason Quenneville, ComposerLyricist - Cirkut, Producer - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Raphael Mesquita, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Billions, Producer - Robin Florent, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Jackson, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

16
All I Know Explicit
00:05:21

MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Josh Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Galland, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Diehl, ComposerLyricist - Future, FeaturedArtist - Nayvadius Wilburn, ComposerLyricist - The Weeknd, MainArtist - A. Balshe, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Cashmere Cat, Producer - Doc McKinney, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Magnus Hoiberg, ComposerLyricist - Ben Billions, Producer - Robin Florent, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Jackson, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

17
Die For You
00:04:20

Henry Walter, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Josh Smith, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cirkut, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Weeknd, MainArtist - Martin McKinney, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Prince 85, Keyboards, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Mejdi Rhars, ComposerLyricist - Cashmere Cat, Producer, Co-Producer - Dylan Wiggins, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Doc McKinney, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Magnus Hoiberg, ComposerLyricist - William Walsh, ComposerLyricist - Simon Christenson, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Prince85, Producer, Co-Producer

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

18
I Feel It Coming
00:04:29

Henry Walter, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Robinson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Daft Punk, Producer, FeaturedArtist - Thomas Bangalter, ComposerLyricist - MICK GUZAUSKI, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Josh Smith, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, ComposerLyricist - Paul Jackson, Jr., Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Quinn, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Florian Lagatta, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cirkut, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Martin "Doc" McKinney, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Weeknd, MainArtist - ERIC CHEDEVILLE, ComposerLyricist - Martin McKinney, ComposerLyricist - Abel Tesfaye, Producer, Co-Producer, ComposerLyricist - Dan Lerner, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dylan Wiggins, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Christopher Caswell, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 The Weeknd XO, Inc.

Album review

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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