Arts & Entertainment, Music, Reviews

Song Spotlight: ‘Wicked Games’ by The Weeknd

A themed playlist that seems to be common among many of my friends, specifically my girl friends, is one that makes you feel like a badass. It’s healthy for the soul to feel unstoppable for a moment, and many songs can accompany you — “Wicked Games” is one of them. 

On the off chance you don’t know the singer behind “Blinding Lights,” The Weeknd is known for other hits such as “Starboy,” “I Feel It Coming” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” Each of those songs has been streamed more than 1 billion times on Spotify. That’s how insane The Weeknd’s songs are.

The Weeknd, born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is a Canadian R&B pop singer. He has won three Grammy Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards and numerous other accolades. It seems like one of his songs is always on the radio — he’s everywhere.

wicked games by the weeknd on spotify
Though The Weeknd is best known for some of his recent hits, his 2011 song “Wicked Games” can empower listeners and be played in many scenarios. ILLUSTRATION BY HANNAH YOSHINAGA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

But, I want to point to one of his earlier songs. “Wicked Games” was initially released on “House of Balloons,” a 2011 mixtape. I recently discovered 2012’s  “Trilogy,” where the track also appears, and immediately fell in love with its vibe.

I’m not going to analyze the lyrics too much because it’s mainly about sex and if I were to break it down, I wouldn’t be able to write this article. However, the yearning sentiment of loving someone, even if it’s only temporary and fleeting, gives this song a subtle hint of heartbreak and longing.

The song has a spectacular bass that hits you just right if you play the song at the perfect volume. It’s also a song I love to listen to late at night with the fairy lights in my room as the only source of electricity. It’s almost haunting, which I find beautiful.

The slower tempo of this song also makes it more impactful to me. It allows Tesfaye’s vocals to shine through effortless runs and adlibs that weave in between the musical phrases. It allows the listener to feel his pain, desperation and anguish in a less obvious manner. It’s genius.

While you can play this song to get into the mood before a night out, you can also play it when you’re sitting down at your desk and preparing to go to sleep. It’s telling when a song is versatile enough to be able to be played in numerous scenarios seamlessly.

“Wicked Games” is a newfound favorite of mine, which proves that quarantine has caused me to learn about older songs I wished I had known about earlier.

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