Looking back at the best of 2011
2. The Weeknd broke onto the scene this year with a trilogy of underground albums released via the singer’s website. Abel Tesfaye’s falsetto is perfetcly matched with the sexy synth slow jams that tell stories of sex, lust, drugs, pain and regret. Of the three albums he released, House of Balloons is hands down his most cohesive and universally loveable album. It’s packed with one amazing song after the other. What You Need spawned several fan made video’s including one single take piece which became the unofficial official video. Wicked Games is so well sung and sad that you can hear his pain. Coming Down is a creepy slowburner about a drug addict losing his true love. The absolute best is The Morning where The Weeknd sings a rap song and spawned an amazing chorus “All that money, the money is the motive”.
His other two albums may not be as amazing as House of Balloons but they are still full of great tracks. The Zone (feat Drake), both versions of The Birds and the title track off of Thursday are pure brilliance. Echoes of Silence (EOS) is slower that the previous two albums but still has some sick tracks. The Host/XO and Outside are great. The album opener, D.D. has already become famous due to his pitch perfect rendition of Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana. For me, the standout was the leaked single “Initiation”, a dark song that plays with Abel’s voice. It oscilates between fast and slow, high and low; seducing a girl to the dark side.
There is obviously a reason why fellow Torontonian Drake signed him to October’s Very Own label. Now that his trilogy is complete he can start commercially releasing albums and “go mainstream”. This guy deserves every iota of fame he gets. Soon the whole world will be singing praises for that OVO and that XO.