“The Idol” has been nan TV season’s spite-watch de rigueur – a messiness of untenably dated misogyny, homophobia, angry interpersonal intersexual unit and traumatic hairsbreadth styles, each of it was justified successful nan work of reminding nan world: Never spot a dude pinch a rat tail.
However, for each of nan menacingly off-putting storylines, visceral beingness assaults and mawkish speech that made up “The Idol,” nan show’s icily epic euphony — made by its creators and actors, successful and retired of characteristic — has been mesmerizing… thrillingly so, even, done nan program’s bad, little run. The euphony was initially surgery down arsenic a bid of EPs released betwixt June 9-30, and now those play teasers are captured successful afloat connected “The Idol (Music from nan HBO Original Series),” a soundtrack that stands arsenic a acold much rewarding and cohesive archive than its televised counterpart.
The postulation kicks disconnected pinch “The Lure (Main Theme)” from the Weeknd and Mike Dean — aka “muthafucking” Mike Dean, nan self-proclaimed stoner, vintage-synth-heavy producer-composer who played a heightened type of himself connected nan bid pinch much bong fume than a Cheech & Chong movie. With that intro, its creators propulsion you into a tactile sonic ambiance that’s chilly and slimy. If clambience — clammy ambience — was ne'er a genre earlier “The Idol,” past Grammy committee members, return note.
The template for that dank, melodramatic reside provides nan Weeknd pinch immoderate of nan champion sonic beds of his career, whether they travel successful ballad aliases banger form. If he was looking, arsenic he’s stated successful interviews, to create a soundtrack to his “Idol” communicative that borrowed from nan expansive theatricality of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and Prince’s “Purple Rain” while taking himself to nan adjacent level, he goes a agelong measurement toward accomplishing that ngo here.
Sure, galore of nan Weeknd’s tracks are a spot connected nan nose, lyrically, erstwhile it comes to representing nan sinister, covetous power freak wrong nan domiciled of Tedros and nan action taking spot connected screen. Yet singing successful characteristic has sharpened nan Weeknd’s instincts arsenic a vocalist while broadening nan cinematic breadth he shares pinch co-writer Dean, successful a measurement that could beryllium memorable for listeners moreover if they haven’t witnessed “The Idol.”
There is uplifting elegance and a decaying, down-tuned melodicism to nan Weeknd’s “Like a God” and “False Idols” (a collab pinch Lil Baby and Suzanna Son). The erstwhile talks of a divine overseer’s reign, “making you wounded again, truthful you tin heal and opportunity ‘Amen.’” The latter, arsenic heard during nan (apparent) finale of “The Idol,” reminds america and his different characters to “Be observant pinch who you telephone a God, I can’t spell without my rod and my rod… Made a 100 million, must beryllium bully astatine my job.”
The whistle-through-the-wire melody statement and foot-stomping beat of “A Lesser Man,” on pinch an ’80s-heavy “Take Me Back,” let a quavering-voiced Weeknd – aliases Tedros – immoderate deep, bluesman-like reveals. “Far distant from my home, successful this hot-ass town, my blood’s still cold,” he sings connected nan former, while Autotuning his ain past and its show of vulnerability to see “I’ve been manipulated a 100 times” connected nan latter.
So noirish and haunting are these past 2 cuts, they’d sound correct astatine location connected his 2020 “After Hours” album. Still, small prepares america for nan naked defenselessness of “Jealous Guy.” Covering John Lennon’s shivering, astir delicate lyrics to nan accompaniment of Dean’s windy, barely-there soundscape is brilliant. Perhaps Tedros is playing a marque of affectional rope-a-dope pinch nan often-put-upon characters of “The Idol,” but nan Weeknd is playing for keeps pinch that poignant, heart-tugging vocal.
Painting a (Manson) family image of those who’ve chosen to travel Tedros’ mean screed are songs specified arsenic “Get It B4,” “False Idols” and “Family.” “Idol” co-star and angelic vocalist Moses Sumney’s shimmering “Get It B4” is nan fam’s solo standout, and its astir profoundly rhythmic. Featuring nan Weeknd pinch Suzanna Son (who plays nan sweet-spirited location songwriter Chloe), “False Idols” and “Family,” together, are tender recognitions of national and dysfunction, wrapped up successful nan belief bliss of release. Think of these songs arsenic gospel euphony pinch a glad-to-be-unhappy luster.
As for nan female astatine nan halfway of “The Idol” – character and vocalist Lily-Rose Depp’s profoundly pained Jocelyn — her modulation from adored integrative princess (“World Class Sinner/I’m a Freak”) to a flesh-and-blood big successful possession of her fantasies and fears (“Fill nan Void”) is brusque and bold. Depp is simply a amazingly effective, low-voiced vocalist who pulls disconnected nan domiciled of wounded popular prima pinch stunning accuracy, arsenic some a vocalist and arsenic an actor.
A plurality of viewers whitethorn not beryllium successful a immense hurry to spot nan Weeknd enactment again anytime soon, but this inversely satisfying soundtrack won’t do thing to dampen nan enthusiasm of those of america who can’t hold to perceive what his contiguous early holds, musically.