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Breaking down the Lyrics on ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’ by ‘The Weeknd’

Released: 2015

Label: Universal Republic Records

Featuring: Labrinth, Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to 2015, as we unpack the lyrical prowess of Canadian virtuoso, The Weeknd, in his chart-busting album, ‘Beauty Behind The Madness.’ This watershed moment in his career was when he morphed from an underground icon into a mainstream maestro, wrapping his raw and resonant narrative around hypnotic beats and haunting melodies.

‘Beauty Behind The Madness’, in essence, is an audacious dive into The Weeknd’s enigmatic psyche, an exploration of personal demons and the struggle to stay afloat in the tumultuous waves of fame. Its critical acclaim and commercial success cemented his stature in the pantheon of the hip-hop elite, marking a new chapter in his transformative journey.

His hits like ‘The Hills’, ‘Often’, and ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ redefined the sonic landscape of hip hop, fleshed out with provocative lyrics and tantalizing storytelling. Meanwhile, ‘Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)’ wooed us with its soulful charm, solidifying The Weeknd’s considerable influence on the pop culture zeitgeist. The album’s evocative narratives and eargasmic melodies are a testament to The Weeknd’s undeniable versatility and artistic evolution. It is not just an album but a raw, unfiltered introspection into the soul of an artist at the peak of his creative prowess.

So let’s get into it. From ‘Real Life’ to ‘Angel’, here are the Breaking down the Lyrics on ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’ by ‘The Weeknd’

1.
Real Life

 

Emphasizing his self-destructive tendencies, he paints a picture of a man who often pushes away love. This tune starkly contrasts the pop-friendly persona The Weeknd had started gaining. Instead of romantic encounters, it’s a confessional about the inability to maintain loving relationships, a topic that reverberates throughout the album. His honesty doesn’t offer redemption or resolution, but rather an acknowledgment of who he is, bringing a hefty dose of reality to his mystifying persona.

2.
Losers

 

By juxtaposing school with stupidity, The Weeknd amplifies his narrative of self-reliance, driving home the idea that he doesn’t need validation from any system. He’s challenging traditional paths to success, arguing that they might be filled with losers. This song is not just an anthem of rebellion but also a statement of self-empowerment, reflecting The Weeknd’s journey from high-school dropout to chart-topping artist. It’s a shout to the hearts that know already, with a resounding declaration that we make our own sense — a sentiment resonating with anyone who’s dared to dream beyond the conventional.

3.
Tell Your Friends

 

It’s an unabashed celebration of newfound wealth, indulgence, and recklessness, with a nod to his influential XO crew. The braggadocious tone reeks of newfound power, and the lyrics, unapologetically raw and hedonistic, illustrate a man who’s replaced his painful past with adamancy and ambition. Yet, beneath this aspirational facade lurks a poignant subtext, an exploration of the dichotomy between his public persona and the haunted individual beneath the surface.

4.
Often

 

Abel masterfully balances his darkly seductive persona with introspective lines, laying out his lifestyle of constant partying, fame, and casual relationships. With the repeated mantra, “I do this often,” The Weeknd acknowledges the repetitive cycle of his actions, unapologetically embracing his indulgent habits. It’s a portrait of a man who uses his fame and hedonistic escapades as a shield, a theme that runs deep throughout ‘Beauty Behind The Madness.’ Authentic and decadent, “Often” sees Abel using salacious lyricism as part of his signature style, creating intense narratives of lust, addiction, and invincibility.

5.
The Hills

 

His nocturnal confessions lay bare his vulnerabilities, where he seeks affection yet remains distant. The lyrics show him caught in the paradox of craving intimacy while indulging in destructive behaviors – a metaphor for his struggles with fame. Simultaneously, he critiques society’s judgment and sheds light on the duality of his public and private personas. His mantra “when I’m fucked up, that’s the real me” is a chilling confession and indictment of the hedonism and emotional chaos that surrounds him, making “The Hills” the haunting anthem of his double-lived existence.

6.
Acquainted

 

The joint has Abel acknowledging the toxicity of his relationship, laying bare his insecurities, and his underlying fear of commitment. He’s no stranger to the dangers of love, yet he’s fallen for her, and he ain’t scared to admit it. Abel’s vulnerability is raw, stripped bare over chilling, atmospheric beats, his voice unmasking the complex layers of his intricate love story. Yet, in his tormented romanticism, there’s an awareness, a conscious recognition of the risk he’s taking. It paints a vivid picture of a man lost in an intoxicating whirlwind of passion and danger.

7.
Can’t Feel My Face

 

Abel Tesfaye, known as The Weeknd, unravels a tale of romantic obsession mingled with self-destruction, creating an intoxicating anthem of love and dependency. Allusions to numbed emotions and the struggles of a tumultuous love affair prevail throughout the lyrics. The repetitive choruses encapsulate a sense of looping infatuation, as he laments being unable to feel his face, an intense metaphor symbolizing an overwhelming, almost debilitating commitment. By doing so, The Weeknd successfully intertwines elements of joy, pain, and vulnerability, making this track a bold statement in his sonic evolution.

8.
Shameless

 

He’s all up in this push-pull dynamic – homie’s not about to play hero, yet he can’t turn his back. Dive into the lyrics and you’re swimming through unmet needs and this constant craving to fix what’s broken. It’s a serious contemplation on love’s complexity, its pressures and pains. Whole track’s a stark reminder that love ain’t always sunshine and daisies, sometimes it’s a struggle. Raw lyrics, heavy emotion – The Weeknd ain’t afraid to get real. This is a track that puts Abel’s lyrical chops front and center, no doubt about it.

9.
Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)

 

Lyrics like ‘I’ma care for you’ and ‘Cause girl, you’re perfect’ break away from his usual tales of hedonism, infusing a sense of sincerity and tenderness. The Weeknd talks about a love that’s seemingly ‘tragic’ yet too captivating to resist. It’s as if he’s caught up in an emotional paradox, engrossed in a love that is as deeply rewarding as it is potentially damaging.

10.
In The Night

 

Through masterfully layered lyrics, The Weeknd delves into gritty themes, capturing the woman’s entrapment in a vicious cycle of dependency, hardship, and a seeming lack of escape. The main character of the song, a vulnerable femme fatale, finds fleeting respite in the dance-filled nightlife, a cleverly woven thread linking it to the unabashed hedonism often prevalent in hip-hop culture. What sets The Weeknd apart here, however, is his emotive approach, turning a potentially crude portrait into a deeply affecting narrative of survival. The song evidences The Weeknd’s prowess, not just as a vocalist, but as a storyteller, his lyrics brimming with a raw grittiness that’s far from sugar-coated.

11.
As You Are

 

He opens up about the paradoxical nature of his relationships, marked by both passionate affection and heartache. This isn’t just the Weeknd crooning about love; he’s presenting a complex dialogue about acceptance, embracing imperfections, and the pain of young, tumultuous love. This reflection of flawed love is powerful, displaying a maturity in his lyricism which exhibits The Weeknd’s depth as a songwriter. This track drifts away from his earlier, darker narratives, embodying a transformative stage in his artistic journey.

12.
Dark Times

 

He fully embraces his dusky side, inviting us into a world of self-destructive tendencies and blurred lines. Every line is drenched in a raw confessional style that’s become Abel Tesfaye’s trademark. Yet beneath the gritty narrative – the inebriation, the violence, and the relentless cycle of hopelessness – emerges a candid acknowledgment of his flaws. From the outset, he’s clear: this is not the right time to fall in love with him. He’s unapologetically flawed, only his mother could love him in his darkest hours. It’s a sobering delve into his psyche, a stark contrast to the glossy veneer of fame and fortune that usually adorns his persona.

13.
Prisoner

 

Reeking of raw emotion and deep turmoil, Abel Tesfaye, AKA The Weeknd, lays bare the conflict of his soul. He uses potent imagery and crushing honesty to illustrate the battle between his destructive habits and the desire for genuine connection. His addiction here isn’t to substances, rather to a lifestyle that is “so empty and cold”. As the title suggests, he feels trapped “prisoner” by his own choices, a grim reality that’s far from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood fame. This track is a stark commentary on celebrity culture and its often overlooked underbelly. A real dope track, no cap!

14.
Angel

 

Abel’s metaphorical portrayal of the woman as an ‘angel’, equipped with wings, and himself as a ‘sinner’, presents a stripped-down dichotomy speaking volumes on his personal struggles with love and self-acceptance. This celestial allegory unfolds the narrative of a flawed man searching for redemption in love, even when he thinks he doesn’t deserve it. Unusual for The Weeknd, “Angel” bears a message of altruistic love, with him rooting for his lover’s happiness, even if it’s with someone else. A deeply emotional track, it truly encapsulates the complex beauty behind Abel’s madness.

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