He reached cult status in the blogosphere last winter with his mysterious free mixtape, House Of Balloons, but not much is known about Toronto's Abel Tesfaye -- and that's probably exactly how he wants it, at least for now. With no promotion behind him aside from a bit of tweeting (sometimes by collaborator Drake), a few gigs in his hometown and absolutely no interviews, the Weeknd has managed to amass a following that lusts for every trippy R&B morsel he'll throw at them.
[jump] Upon stumbling on House Of Balloons last March, Tesfaye immediately had a superfan in me (and many a critic, for that matter). This is music that has its own timestamp and its own flavor, seemingly without even trying. Tesfaye lays down delectable croonings about excessive adventures with drugs and sex over detached beats that take from trip-hop, dubstep, and R&B, all forming a deliciously oversexed and hungover symphony. It's addicting and, at times, somehow even sweet.
From Balloons standout 'Wicked Games":
I left my girl back home, I don't love her no more
And she'll never fuckin' know that, these fuckin' eyes that I'm starin' at
Let me see that ass, look at all this cash
And I emptied all my cards too / Now I'm fuckin' leanin' on that" ....
Let me see you dance (I love to watch you dance)
Take you down another level, get you dancin' with the devil
Take a shot of this, but I'm warning you
I'm on that shit that you can't smell, baby
So put down your perfume
This sizzurp'y concoction continues as Tesfaye released today his official follow-up to Ballloons. Thursday amounted to be quite the nail-biter, as fans, bloggers, and critics all scoured the Internet for the five months in between the two releases, googling "Weeknd" all summer in hopes something new would appear. Well, it's here, and it's good. Though it's not as instant as his debut -- an album that would be near impossible to follow up with something unarguably better -- Thursday is just what fans will want to hear, new appreciators likely on deck thanks to Drake collab "The Zone". So grab your favorite girl and a glass of something strong tonight, you've got a private listening party to host.
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