Track Review: The Weeknd, ‘False Alarm’
With “False Alarm,” Canadian R&B artist The Weeknd delivers an ambitious second single from forthcoming album, ‘Starboy’.
The world was put on alert when Canadian R&B artist The Weeknd announced the release of his third studio album, Starboy. After releasing the title track as the promo single, The Weeknd returns with a second single, “False Alarm.” Two songs into Starboy it’s clear that The Weeknd isn’t pigeonholing himself artistically.
“False Alarm” opens with distorted sounds. Following the distorted intro, the distortion carries over into The Weeknd’s voice. Even so, a danceable, pop-rock oriented groove anchors. One of the first influences that come to mind listening to “False Alarm” is Prince. The record has an edgy, biting, rock quality. He’s clearly capturing the ambitious and fearless nature of the late musical genius.
Throughout, “False Alarm” utilizes a darker palette of sounds that’s alluring. The record is clearly different previous ones by The Weeknd, providing a welcome contrast. Both the pre-chorus and chorus are catchy. The chorus stands out in particular, thanks to the screams.
What is “False Alarm” about? A gold-digging girl. The Weeknd masterfully depicts her shallowness throughout the song whether it’s (1) “So obsessed with the camera lights,” (2) “She loves everybody / she gets off all the time,” or (3) “Dolla, dolla bill is her only type.” He also squeezes in a double-entendre for make-up centering around drugs on verse one:
“Bathroom stalls for the powder nose.”
Sigh, that’s the artist we know and love.
On “False Alarm,” The Weeknd delivers something different, and that can be considered both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because he’s expanding his artistry. It’s a curse because there’s a good chance that “False Alarm” might not be a big hit because it is so different, particularly thanks to the wild chorus. Ultimately, “False Alarm” is too intriguing to write-off.