I last posted an installment of my ‘What the Kids Are Listening To’ series more than a year ago, before the coronavirus had even reached U.S. soil. The final song back then was The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights,’ sitting at #15 prior to the release of his album After Hours.
‘Blinding Lights’ is at #11 now, after setting a record by becoming the first song in history to spend a full year in Billboard’s Top 10. It holds the record for the most weeks spent in the Top 5, Top 10, Top 20 and Top 40. If only the rest of the world could have had as rewarding a year as that song.
Yesterday I hoped for a strong finish to my latest chapter of ‘What the Kids are Listening To,’ and my wish was granted with Billboard’s #15 track, ‘Blinding Lights’ by The Weeknd.
The second single from his next album is an 80s-fueled synth-tastic bop, and right up there with Dua Lipa’s ‘Don’t Start Now’ as the best song I’ve featured over the past two weeks.
The movie soundtrack game isn’t a high-volume business. Currently the #3 album on Billboard’s soundtrack chart is Moana, in its 71st week.
But a handful of recent films have produced soundtracks worth at least a cursory listen.
The current big dog (or cat, I should say) is the Black Panther soundtrack, curated by Kendrick Lamar, who also appears on many of its tracks.
Rounding out my first week of ‘What the Kids are Listening To’ is The Weeknd with ‘I Feel It Coming,’ the second single from his album Starboy.
Like the title track, ‘I Feel It Coming’ is a collaboration with Daft Punk, who lend the same techno disco production and mechanized vocals they brought to ‘Get Lucky’ to this song.
The Chainsmokers’ ‘Closer’ — already featured here — sits at Billboard’s #2 spot this week. At #3 is The Weeknd with ‘Starboy,’ the first single from his upcoming album of the same name.
‘Starboy’ (as the video makes crystal clear) is about The Weeknd coming to terms with his fame and moving past the persona he inhabited on his previous chart-toppers. At the beginning of the video, he literally kills the crazy-haired version of himself that fans came to know and love on ‘Can’t Feel My Face.’