I’m a couple of months behind on this release, but I felt a need to share it because I get ridiculously excited when I hear something this impressive.
According to his wiki, The Weeknd, is Toronto-based R&B singer Abel Tesfaye, but House of Balloons is not your typical Top 40-Bullshit-R&B record. I don’t really know how to go about describing the album so, rather than give you the very poor analogy of Burial meets John Legend in falsetto (he’s eerily similar to the vocalist in Burial’s Archangel to me), I’ll let people that get paid to write reviews about music tell you everything that you need to know.
This Pitchfork Media review by Joe Colly pretty much nails it.
The group’s penchant for druggy atmospherics is mirrored in their lyrical content, which is overtly sexual, narcotics-focused, and occasionally downright frightening….What makes this whole thing work in an album context is that all the thematic and sonic pieces fit together– these weird, morning-after tales of lust, hurt, and over-indulgence (“Bring the drugs, baby, I can bring my pain,” goes one refrain) are matched by this incredibly lush, downcast music….though the image of nightlife painted by the Weeknd isn’t a place you’d ever want to live, it’s one that’s frankly very hard to stop listening to.
If you’d rather listen before “buying” you can hear all the tunes on Soundcloud.
http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F665498 The Weeknd – House Of Balloons by The_Weeknd
P.S. “The Knowing” is greatness.