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  • Writer's pictureMartin van Zeelandt / TCD

The Weeknd - The Highlights (2021)

The weekend has started! And name one better album to start your weekend with? One suitable album to let the world know the weekend has started, is The Weeknd's latest album called 'The Highlights'. This Canadian producer and singer has had a blinding career so far, with him playing all over the world, and most recently the Super Bowl. If you haven't heard of this name before, I am wondering which cave you have been hiding in for the last few years. If you are, and this is the first time you come across his name, no worries: there's plenty of time (and music) to catch up on.

You might not know that this superstar is only 31 years old, but has already a lot of albums on his name. His discography is already impressive. And they are well received. He has gained attention with his latest hits, but gained my personal attention when I heard his collaboration songs with the French duo, oh, you might have heard of them before: Daft Punk. I'm not sure when he released the song 'Blinding Lights', but that song took me by surprise, and got everyone talking: who is this bloke? Who is the man behind the facade? And can anyone explain to us what his purpose is, in regards to his videos? Seriously, does anyone know the reason behind each video? Are they linked? And if so, how?

Obviously you hate him or love him, but you cannot deny his impact on popular dance music. He took it to the next level. And his voice is just so recognisable, and yet, with every song, he makes sure that he doesn't repeat his repertoire over and over, and takes us constantly on an adventure. Each song is different, and exciting. And the best bit? The tracks I know and love, they all have this vibe that takes us back to the 80s/90s. Not many artists in 2021 can pull that off. Some try, and fail. The Weeknd does not.

But don't let his red jacket put you off, or think he isn't capable of bringing the heat: there are certain records on this album which will blow you into smithereens! Trust me, you need to put the bass level up to the max, and the tremble also. Wake up the neighbourhood, and make sure that each panel in your car is trembling. Don't think that he just brings a bit of heat: this man is on fire! My speakers attached to my PC/Mac don't do these songs any justice, but thankfully I've got a car with descent speakers, so I have enjoyed these songs, and the trembling bass and melody coming towards me.

For those who aren't familiar with this page: I'm not TMZ, or any entertainment site. I only focus on the music, and not the person who's behind the name The Weeknd, so we only talk music. And with his latest album, which is already his second greatest hits album, he has put 18 records on one single album, and makes sure you are blown away by his voice, and his producing skills. And if you want more, just check out The Weeknd on Youtube: plenty of awesome videos. Executed beautifully. If there's one thing he can do, is take you to Heaven and back. As I don't listen to the lyrics most of the time, you might assume that the message does not come across, but trust me: the music grabs me, lifts me up, and when needed, drops me down, back to Earth. And boy, it hurts when the journey stops. And on 'The Highlights' the journey is ended after the 18th song, and the first thing you do, is start with number 1 again. You just have to. The Weeknd is as addictive as hell.

So which records are selected to be his highlights, as we speak? Which records have been on our radio constantly, and repeatedly? Which records are well embedded in musical history? And cemented his status as a well respected and much loved artist? Well, here's the tracklist:

  1. The Weeknd - Save Your Tears

  2. The Weeknd - Blinding Lights

  3. The Weeknd - In Your Eyes

  4. The Weeknd - Can't Feel My Face

  5. The Weeknd feat Daft Punk - I Feel It Coming

  6. The Weeknd feat Daft Punk - Starboy

  7. The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar - Pray For Me

  8. The Weeknd - Heartless

  9. The Weeknd - Often

  10. The Weeknd - The Hills

  11. The Weeknd - Call Out My Name

  12. The Weeknd - Die For You

  13. The Weeknd - Earned It

  14. The Weekend & Ariana Grande - Love Me Harder

  15. The Weeknd - Acquainted

  16. The Weeknd - Wicked Games

  17. The Weeknd - The Morning

  18. The Weeknd - After Hours

So, this album happened. And was I ready for it? Hell no. If truth be told, I was thinking of purchasing some albums this weekend, and not just by The Weeknd, but when I came across this album, I just had to stop a second, and absorb what he just gave the world. Yes, I fully understand that he has already given these songs to the world, and we are all grateful for it, but come on: a masterpiece with only the finest Weeknd songs? 2021 isn't that bad after all, eh?

After listening to this album over and over today, it just dawned on me: The Weeknd is a superstar. The world knows, but to me he's at the moment the most respected and most loved artist. And I'm a picky person. And how did I come to this conclusion? Well, just put any, and I do mean any Weeknd song on, and we all know it, and love it, and sing along, as much as I can (again, I don't listen to lyrics). The music is composed extremely well, and his voice is just what we need in the 20s. He's only 31, but he's going to stick for a very long time, and as long as he keeps entertaining us and surprises us with new adventures, we won't complain.

Each and every song feels emotional. Obviously the album comes with a warning of explicit language, but you were expecting it. You cannot sing a song without putting your emotions in, and when people discuss their emotions, things get heated, and you swear from time to time. So does The Weeknd, so if you were hoping for radio friendly songs, oops. Sorry. He doesn't compromise, he delivers.

I am in awe of each song. It features songs which were also used for films, the likes of Fifty Shades Of Grey and Black Panther. But not just the most 'recent' songs were used, also a few from his earlier albums, ranging from 'House Of Balloons' to 'My Dear Melancholy', to obviously 'After Hours', which probably has the freakiest album cover I've seen in a long time.

I am a fan of The Weeknd, and that doesn't happen that often. The last time I really got turned into a fanboy was back in the 90s, when 2Unlimited were hot. And they were the ones I was in awe of. The Weeknd is currently the hottest artist on God's given Earth, and he brings the fire. Sometimes it becomes too hot to listen to, and you have to sit in a cool bath, just to cool down.

I do love the records from his latest album, but to pick one favourite from this specific greatest hits album was difficult, but it has to be the one which got me thinking the most, and to me is filled with the most emotions: 'Call Out My Name'. What a deep record. If you want to experience how deep The Weeknd can go, and how he can make you feel sad and empty at the end, listen to this. So much emotions. And watch the video, worth a watch.

This album has made my Weeknd. And trust me, during COVID there aren't many things that make my weekend. This album was unexpected, but I really enjoyed it. Go check it out, and purchase this album. And don't forget: The Weeknd isn't just for the weekends!

Artist: The Weeknd

Genre/Style: Pop Rap R&B, Trap, New Wave, Synthwave

CD Info: The Weeknd - The Highlights

Length CD: 01:16:00

Tracks: 18 (eighteen)

Release Year; 2021

Label: XO/Republic Records

Product Number: 602435754439/*02

Listen Here: Amazon Music

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