‘Can’t Feel My Face’ is the kind of funky, feelgood love song that momentarily restores your faith in the radio. Sadly it’s also the only song of it’s kind on this album.
The rest see Canadian r&b singer Abel Tesfaye (AKA The Weeknd) continuing his love for moody odes to self-indulgence, only this time coated with a sterile pop sheen. The instrumentals do try to be diverse, some borrowing from eighties synthpop such as ‘In The Night’, others from modern trap such as ‘Often’. There’s even an acoustic duet with Ed Sheeran shoehorned in the mix. However, this sonic smorgasbord is rendered flat and monotonous due to the forgettable vocal melodies and moany lyrics layered over the top. These tracks seem to have none of the catchiness or energy of ‘Can’t Feel My Face’, Abel resorting to a soft whimper whilst whining about the amount of non-committal sex he has. Indeed, clearly some listeners enjoy Abel’s confessions of a man-slut, but I am neither seduced nor sympathetic. Instead I am just left bored, and sex should never be boring.