After setting the bar huge with Beauty Behind The Madness in 2015, people have come to expect a lot from The Weeknd, and for good reason - his voice is the epitome of R&B and sensuality. Paired with Daft Punk, surely nothing can go wrong!
Despite two of the biggest names working together on it, The Weeknd's new single 'Starboy' is pretty underwhelming from what you would expect from him. It's not an awful song by any means - it's a pretty solid track, but it feels extremely generic. There's a lot more it could've done, and it's left without a lasting taste.
What it does have is great production. Daft Punk's contribution to the song was the production, and they nailed it. The beat is pretty heavy, a deep synth covering the bass of it with the high end of it will atmospheric piano dramatically creates a tense feeling. The song doesn't have much to it instrumentally outside of this, but there are synths that build up during the choruses that you just wish carried out throughout the song. If every chorus built up a little more with a new synth line or something akin to that, it would've been a much more memorable track.
'Starboy' is about The Weeknd's newfound extravagance after his success in the latest years. The lyrics talk about fame and the luxuries of a rich life. The chorus chants "Look what you've done / I’m a motherfuckin' starboy," The Weeknd sending shots at his haters; their messages made him want to succeed even more - and look where he is now. Many of the lyrics aren't as typically sensual or poetic as his works in the past of been, but instead are more hip-hop influenced. The bridge line "Let a nigga Brad Pitt / Legend of the fall took the year like a bandit" couldn't have been better timed.
The only real problem with the song is that it is quite generic. It sounds like any other deep house track out there. There's nothing really about it that would demand a second listen - every listen after the first really has the same impact. There's no intricacies or little details to discover that would make it worth revisiting, nor is there any real climax to the track. It's cleanly produced and very safe, and that's more or less all that it has going for it.
'Starboy' is an underwhelming lead single. It's good, but generic, and may sadly act as a sign that his follow up record to Beauty Behind The Madness may not be as fruitful as we could have hoped. His success is letting him revel in extravagance, to the level that his lyrics are almost cocky. Let's hope there are better things ahead for his upcoming record, Starboy, ironically, has more to offer.
Rating: 70 / 100