The Weeknd: Ten Top Tracks
Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, recently announced a September 6 show with Gucci Mane and Nav at the Bryce Jordan Center, as part of Phase 2 of the PBR&B singer’s Starboy: Legend of the Fall Tour. In celebration, RISE Magazine has compiled a selection of the Starboy’s ten best tracks, features and all. Tickets are $39.75 for the public, but students receive a $25 discount. Additionally, VIP packages may be brought for $225. For more information on tickets, click here.
10. ‘FML’ by Kanye West ft. The Weeknd
While not a solo Weeknd track, this underrated gem was a highlight of West’s 2016 album, The Life Of Pablo. This is the second collaboration between the two artists, following Beauty Behind The Madness’ ‘Tell Your Friends.’
9. ‘The Morning’ by The Weeknd
A standout from The Weeknd’s first project, House of Balloons, ‘The Morning’ sees the Canadian in standard form, making money, one night stands, and drug addictions sound grand and important.
8. ‘Often’ by The Weeknd
The first single from Tesfaye’s radio-breakout album, Beauty Behind The Madness, ‘Often’ was the singer’s first foray into trap beats. Over an aquatic, reverberating melodic sample, Tesfaye displays his vocal abilities, alongside foregrounding his lyrical absurdities: ‘that girl been drinking all day, need a changed bladder.’
7. ‘True Colors’ by The Weeknd
While not as popular as the more rhythmically exciting singles from Starboy, ‘True Colors’ is proof that The Weeknd can absolutely do a ballad when he wants to. Over the bright, waterdrop-like synth-work of Cashmere Cat, Jake One and Benny Blanco, Tesfaye tries to learn who his woman really is.
6. ‘Crew Love’ by Drake ft. The Weeknd
There was no way an OVOXO track didn’t make this list. A standout of Drake’s (arguably) best album, Take Care, ‘Crew Love’ is a reminder of how important The Weeknd’s input was to that body of work. With writing credits on at least a quarter of the tracklisting, the dark, brooding atmosphere of ‘Crew Love’ is just one example of Tesfaye’s influence on modern R&B and pop.
5. ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ by The Weeknd
Max Martin, the man behind the hits of all your favorite pop singers, struck again on this gem. The song that started the MJ comparisons, catapulted The Weeknd to true pop stardom, and dominated the charts for weeks, ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ is a real phenomenon. For a song about drugs, it did incredibly with children, as Tesfaye laments in ‘Reminder’: ‘b*tch I am not a teen choice.’
4. ‘Starboy’ by The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk
Daft Punk and The Weeknd shouldn’t be this good together, but they really are. Over a simple distorted drum loop, Tesfaye sings with swagger, joined by the French DJs’ harmonies in the chorus. It’s dark and minimalistic, yet incredulously catchy: a perfect pairing of The Weeknd’s classic pop and forward-thinking-R&B stylings.
3. ‘High For This’ by The Weeknd
Easily the single greatest track of Tesfaye’s pre-album days, ‘High For This’ is centered upon the stark contrast of verse and chorus. Moving suddenly from the flighty falsetto of the verse, as Tesfaye sings over a minimalistic synth line, to the bass-heavy chorus. Paired with enormous drums and reverberating backing vocals, the Starboy’s hook is huge: ‘even though, you don’t roll, trust me girl, you wanna be high for this.’
2. ‘I Feel It Coming’ by The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk
‘I Feel It Coming’ is one of those moments in pop music where a singer just writes the perfect song. From the drum-sequenced beat and funky basslines, courtesy of post-Random Access Memories Daft Punk, to the way The Weeknd’s voice sinks into the electronic timbres of Daft Punk’s harmonies, to the simply undeniable melody, this song is just perfect pop.
1. ‘The Hills’ by The Weeknd
However, despite the songwriting triumph that is ‘I Feel It Coming,’ the second single from Beauty Behind The Madness, ‘The Hills,’ is the perfect Weeknd song. Mixing elements of his falsetto pop, with the dark tones and subject matter of his original mixtapes, over a sub-bass heavy beat, ‘The Hills’ takes the best of all of Tesfaye’s qualities and meshes them into a single, dark tune.
Let us know if you agree with us, or if you think another Weeknd song is more deserving, below.
Photo Credit: The Weeknd Starboy Tour