The Weeknd’s latest album, Kiss Land, was generally well-received, but didn’t exactly shatter worlds musically or monetarily. However, his latest track, “Devil May Cry,” showcases his songwriting and singing ability better than any track on the album. The song will appear on the upcoming Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, which comes out on November 19th (the movie is out on the 22nd).
The track is definitely more polished than past efforts, which makes sense–this is the “lead single” off a major Hollywood blockbuster. The sparse, acoustic-guitar-driven production feels simultaneously fresh and familiar, and his vocal melodies aren’t exactly innovative, but are fresh enough to hit home sonically. For someone who started out as a bed-room producer/singer uploading experimental tracks anonymously to YouTube, this is a huge step up.
The top-notch production-value could also be attributed to the legend himself, Rick Rubin:
. @iTunes i wanted to go for an uplifting and conquering yet melancholy mood. rick rubin helped me bring it to life.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 12, 2013
However, this track is more soulful than most pop songs today. The production is more inspired–the dark, enormous bass synth he uses for the drop surpasses the everyday, run-of-the mill, preset-heavy sounds you’ll hear from the Aviciis and the Gagas out there; the drums sound weirder. Whatever happens in the future, it’s clear The Weeknd is going to stay a major player in the game.
Get away for the Weeknd in style.