Okay, at this point, the Weeknd can append his devilishly seductive voice to any surface and make it work. Stripper anthems. Post-disco cuts. Booming trip-hop tunes. Slinky drug-fueled numbers (Pretty much every song). I’d argue that as much as time and effort have helped Abel Tesfaye get to this point, pliability has been a boon as well.
So now we have the Weeknd running full-steam ahead into 80s electro power-pop with “False Alarm,” a piece not unlike what Grimes did with the excellent “Kill v. Maim.” Caught up in the percussion that never seems to die, and darkly oscillating synths, Tesfaye wails the song’s title during the chorus. Already, it stands as one of the more vocally raw moments in a career that’s been largely marked by unnerving cool. There’s nothing calm and collected here. This is bracing, frantic work from the Weeknd. The sound of him hitting a new gear and taking us along for the wild ride.
(You can hear the new tune here and look for the album to drop November 25th. Nothing confirms popstar-status quite like Thanksgiving release dates.)