The Weeknd — whose real name is Abel Tesfaye — officially released his Beauty Behind the Madness album yesterday to a flurry of interest among fans. The singer, who got his start uploading videos to YouTube, has gained a wide, enthusiastic, and devoted following. The Inquisitr reported on The Weeknd treating his fans to a preview of the Beauty Behind the Madness tracks earlier in the month — which helped spread the massive buzz currently surrounding the album and The Weeknd himself.
Musicians joining The Weeknd on Beauty Behind the Madness include Lana Del Rey, Ed Sheeran, Kanye West, and Labrinth.
The Weeknd released “Can’t Feel My Face” on June 8. The single instantly charted, hitting the number one position of the Billboard Hot 100 the week of August 22. “The Hills,” released on May 27, currently sits at number five on the Billboard chart. The Weeknd single “Earned It” which was part of the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, currently sits in position 34 on the chart, falling somewhat after peaking at number three.
Of the newly available The Weeknd tracks, “Can’t Feel My Face” is currently the most downloaded single on iTunes.
iTunes user Glxorious praised the new The Weeknd singles.
“The Weeknd is a lyrical genius. I swear people can get so lost in his music they don’t even know the meaning. He is explicit but he speaks metaphorically a lot as well, so people can also take his lyrics literally.”
Toronto Star music critic Ben Rayner was more reserved.
“At 65 minutes, it’s too long by far, and could have easily been spared the doldrums by judiciously snipping a few rote Weeknd-isms from the track listing. A toothless “blues” duet with Ed Sheeran (Leadbelly he ain’t) and a Lana del Rey feature towards the end likewise add nothing to the record and feel tacked on.”
“It’s a transitional album, though, and we have every reason to believe Tesfaye’s pop masterpiece lies down the road. He’s got the voice and the talent to get there.”
Listen to The Weeknd perform “Can’t Feel My Face” in this YouTube video, one of the few The Weeknd tracks that is suitable for all audiences.
Hot New Hip Hop reports that preliminary indications show sales of 250,000 copies of Beauty Behind the Madness in its first week, blowing away the 95,000 copies of the previous The Weeknd effort, “Kiss Land” sold in the first week after its debut. Eight out of 11 reviewers left positive reviews of the new The Weeknd singles on Metacritc, giving Beauty Behind the Madness a 75 out of 100 rating.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]