Okay, if you haven’t given The Weeknd’s album from earlier this year a listen yet, please, please change that. Beauty Behind the Madness is one of my favorite albums of 2015, and not just because “I Can’t Feel My Face” is what would happen if Michael Jackson went through a really nihilistic phase. Also not just because The Weeknd has milked that celebrity comparison by learning some killer dance moves. Although both of those things are certainly factors in my appreciation.
All of the music videos that have come out of the album are astonishingly good, too. “Often” is a seemingly single-shot video with lots of “how did they do that?!” moments (panning away from The Weeknd only to pan back onto him in a completely different spot), and “Tell Your Friends,” which is beautiful and I simply cannot stop watching.
Last week, The Weeknd released another music video from the album, “In The Night.” It’s somewhere between a Japanese Noir movie and a high-budget sexploitation flick, and I love it. Basically, The Weeknd is the champion of harassed sex workers, even though he’s well aware that they can take care of their damn selves. There’s great shots of emotional singing in a sudden downpour, motorcycle riding at sunrise, and — of course — hundred dollar bills falling in slow motion onto a very sultry-looking Weeknd. It’s a parody of 1980’s ‘cool guy’ music videos, but it also stands on its own really well. It certainly begs the question “how seriously does The Weeknd take himself?,” to which we can only shrug and hope that he continues doing what he’s doing.