For the first time since his last EP, My Dear Melancholy, Abel Tesfaye (better known as The Weeknd, or according to 2015's "Tell Your Friends" he refers to himself as, "That n*gga with the hair, singin' bout poppin' pills, fuckin' bithces, Livin' life so trill" which is hands down the most accurate description of The Weekend I've ever heard) has returned to the solo spotlight with his new single, "Heartless".
The Weeknd's descent away from the popular scene isn't a surprising one. Much like his R&B/Hip-hop/Pop counterpart Frank Ocean, Abel typically disappears from the public eye between projects. This detachment from his fans is one that only makes them want him more. Like the old saying goes, you always want what you can't have. And The Weeknd's marketing team, and his self if we're being completely honest, is better at exemplifying this theme than just about anybody else in the game right now not named Frank.
Sure, we may have had a quick "Hey, what's good? How ya doin'? Yeah, I'm still like the best singer in the world in case you forgot" moment with him during his celebrated feature on Nav's "Price On My Head," earlier this year, which is much more of a Weekend track than it is a Nav one, but as far as literal terms go: "Heartless" is the first single we've received from The King of the Fall in a long while.
A "Mathematical" Breakdown of the Track
To me, this track is 30% "Reminder" in the way that it quite literally reminds himself and us what his motivations in life are, what makes him happy, and how he's decided to carry himself after experiencing two different heartbreaks (listen to My Dear Melancholy for more information on those subjects). And 10% Future-inspired toxicity. There are blatant and straight forward references to The Weeknd’s collaboration with Future on their track “Low Life”. This track demonstrates how much The Weeknd has evolved into an artist similar to Hendrix himself.
However, this track is also 30% Beauty Behind the Madness to me. Sonically, lyrically, and the way he delivers his lyrics would make this track fit both schematically and thematically onto that Billboard-topping album seamlessly. There's also a hint of House of Balloons on this track, but that's merely because it's chopped into two different sections. The first part operates a dance-your-ass-off-melt-your-face-off anthem, and the second completely switches gears into a oh-my-god-can-Abel-moan-in-my-ear-like-this-forever orgasm.
What's that last 30%? The new era of The Weeknd. A new chapter. A breath of fresh air. A new life. He's been sitting back and watching the last year and has seen how the game's at a sort of a standstill with all the trap clones, and auto-tune abusers. He's ready to provide a fresh take on music once again that'll inspire other artists to step their games up to his level. If that's even possible, cause I don't think any of them can hit the high notes quite like he does.