Reaching back to the sounds of the 1990s is a hot trend for today’s R&B and hip-hop artists, but Abel Tesfaye remains rooted in the ’80s. The Weeknd’s third studio album, Starboy, has garnered tons of buzz thanks to two high-profile collaborative tracks with Daft Punk and its overall chart dominance; Starboy also set a new Spotify record for most global streams in a single day at 40 million.
As was the case with previous release Beauty Behind the Madness, several Starboy tracks recall the glory days of Michael Jackson, including “Love to Lay” and “A Lonely Night.” But the most significant song in this collection might be the Chicago house-influenced “Rockin’,” which The Weeknd has said was originally planned as the core of an entire record built around this infectious sound. Try to listen to it just once; it isn’t possible.
As Vegas audiences already know from his former residency at Drai’s and will discover again when he performs at the Cosmopolitan and hosts at Marquee during New Year’s Eve Weekend, The Weeknd has already proven during his brief yet meteoric rise that he can’t be pigeonholed with a single style. The Weeknd at the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan, December 30.