After what seemed like an eternity of hype, The Weeknd finally released his new album Starboy unto the world last Friday during the holiday weekend. The ultra-retro record features collaborations from Daft Punk, Lana Del Rey and Kendrick Lamar, and was accompanied by a variety of flashy music videos.
Which is all well and good. But was it worth the wait? The reviews are in and there's no hiding from the critics. Read below to see how Starboy has fared in the music world:
"Initially, there were signs that Starboy would represent a much-needed pivot, a rethinking of a sound and image that seemed to have run its course... however, [the album] is hardly a dramatic reinvention--if anything, it feels like a watered-down retread of the same old tropes."
"By the time its first three songs are over, Tesfaye’s aspirations for the album are clear. It’s hard to imagine that opening sequence being any more stuffed with hooks. By then, there’s no reason to expect much subtlety from the rest of the album."
"Maybe it pays to rest on his laurels. But for longtime fans that believe The Weeknd is one of the major R&B artists of the decade, Starboy will ultimately seem like a disappointment."
"At a gluttonous 18 tracks, his latest full-length oscillates between songs parents would feel okay about their kids listening to and ones they wouldn’t unless they happen to be Ben Affleck, vaping in his car, desperately trying to connect with his children."
"Some songs (“Love to Lay,” “Nothing Without You”) have barely any verses at all, largely relying on pre-choruses and choruses. And sometimes the Weeknd sings as if he were rapping — those songs, like “Sidewalks,” are among his most cluttered."
"If the lengthy, 18-track Starboy has downsides, they are those puzzling tracks in which Tesfaye tries to persuade his listenership that he feels genuine emotions for girls when his entire canon attests otherwise."
Overall? It's a little long, and not quite his best.
We were able to take a peek inside one of The Weeknd's Starboy pop-up shops last weekend. Get a look inside right here.