I’m the first to admit that I wasn’t a fan of The Weeknd’s “Earned It”. The single that was a part of the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack brought the Canadian crooner his highest charted mainstream single so far. On a FDRMX review I noted the sonic change in production compared to previous efforts and a more reserved Weeknd than expected for a film like Fifty Shades of Grey. I couldn’t get past the guy that created moody sensual cuts like “High For This” or “Often” releasing something so tame but like most songs that find a home on the radio, I heard it all the time and grew to like the slow burner. It looks like the XO founder is returning to his original sound with “The Hills”, the latest single that seems to be the first single from his upcoming second studio album Beauty Behind the Madness.
The hard knocking production reaches its peak on the catchy hook that reminds me of the kids around the world getting messed up with no regrets, “I only love it when you touch me / Not feel me / When I’m fucked up that’s the real the real me.” This is the Weeknd I want to hear! Extremely unapologetic about his feelings and intentions over production that has no similarities to the safe records that can be found on the top 40 charts. Call me a hipster (actually don’t, I hate that) but I love when an artist sticks with what makes them interesting and doesn’t change for sake of making a quick buck. The Weeknd is at his best on tracks like this. Don’t get me wrong, I assume that most artists want their music to be successful but veering so far away from what made you so original in the first place doesn’t do you any favors when trends change and people move on to the next thing.
“The Hills” was released on May 27 debuting at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 with a music video matching the eerie tone of the song. Most recently Weeknd’s latest single reached the top 10 spot on Hot R&B Songs and it’s nice to see the mainstream liking a song that isn’t a formulaic hit. I could see Beauty Behind the Madness gaining a better response when it comes to sales now that the mainstream are paying attention to The Weeknd’s music. With no release date announced for the album yet, I’m excited to hear what The Weeknd is cooking up for this album. If “The Hills” is any indication of what’s to come, I think fans are going to hear a continuation of the dark vibe that can be found on Weeknd’s debut album Kiss Land or mixtape trilogy. Get ready for another trip inside the gritty, emotive experience in Weeknd’s inner thoughts.
What do you think of The Weeknd’s latest single? Let me know in the comments!
Buy “The Hills” on iTunes: HERE