December 16, 2013 § Leave a comment
2013 proved to be an interesting year for music, as we saw major pop releases fail to catch steam (Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Katy Perry) while other alternative artists sought out to concur their genre (Charli XCX, Disclosure, Chvrches, AlunaGeorge) and bring us some of the best and freshest music of recent years. Other artists made 2013 the year of the comeback (Justin Timberlake, R. Kelly, Kings of Leon), while some used the new year to continue to release great music (Arctic Monkeys, Beyonce).
With that being said, I officially present my list of the best albums of 2013 – which ranges from my favorite artists to a few new faces!
20. AlunaGeorge – Body Music
19. Lady Gaga – ARTPOP
18. Drake – Nothing Was The Same
17. Jay Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail
16. Haim – Days Are Gone
15. Lorde – Pure Heroine
14. James Blake – Overgrown
13. A$AP Rocky – Long.Live.A$AP
12. Major Lazer – Free The Universe
11. Sky Ferreria – Night Time, My Time
View my top 10 albums after the jump! Keep reading!
September 20, 2013 § 1 Comment
The Weeknd for his new video for “Pretty,” the new single off his debut album Kiss Land. It begins with Abel Tesfaye leaving an airport in the middle of Nowhereland (it’s possibly his hometown of Toronto) and doing seemingly normal things (like eating Chinese food) but things take an unexpected turn for the worst…
You just have to wait until the end to see what goes down. Heads up, it’s definitely not pretty.
Watch the not safe for work clip below:
Kiss Land is in stores now.
September 10, 2013 § 3 Comments
A few years ago, R&B took an interesting turn as young artists dabbled in a new, darker sub-genre called “PBR&B” (see SPIN‘s article for a thorough breakdown). The genre-bending roster included Drake, Frank Ocean, Solange, Miguel and Janelle Monae. And then there’s The Weeknd, the twisted brother to Frank Ocean’s lighter sonic fare. The Toronto-bred singer raised eyebrows (and caused a few dropped panties) in March 2011 with the first of his mixtape trilogy, House Of Balloons. With songs like “High For This” and “Wicked Games,” the singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, used his depressive music as a mask to whisper taboo subjects like drug abuse, prostitution and dangerous partying into the listener’s ear. Three mixtapes and a compilation album later, The Weeknd reveals himself on his proper debut release, Kiss Land (out today,September 10).
While his mixtapes displayed the singer as emotionless and cold, Kiss Land shows a softer, warmer side of the once-mysterious crooner who now isn’t afraid to wear his feelings on his sleeve as well as his album artwork, showing a more confident Tesfaye looking directly into the camera lens. The themes on the album are derivative of his mixtapes, but the singer lyrically cuts even deeper as he struggles with his new-found fame.
With Michael Jackson‘s Bad and Dangerous influences as well as inspiration from filmmakers like John Carpenter, David Cronenberg and Ridley Scott, The Weeknd challenges your sexual limitations both sonically and lyrically. But you should have already expected that if you paid attention to the record’s Hentai-inspired promotion, which was plastered with Japanese symbols and characters (not to mention the after-dark commercial featuring a Lolita-esque Japanese girl promising you “happy times” if you give the artist a call). Overall, Kiss Land‘s 2-in-1 songs create a sonic journey — but not in the exuberant 20/20 Experience way. It is more self-deprecating, jarring and mentally noxious.
The album opens up with “Professional,” a dark love song for a call girl. Tesfaye’s vocals are finally on the forefront, rather than being hidden behind smoky basslines. Just three minutes into listening, the song’s recurring lyric sums the entire album: “So you’re somebody now / but what’s a somebody in a nobody town?”
In his first-ever interview of his career, The Weeknd said he wanted to capture fear in the album: “I don’t know who I am right now and I’m doing all these outlandish things in these settings that I’m not familiar with. To me, it’s the most terrifying thing ever. So when you hear the screams in the record and you hear all these horror references and you feel scared, listen to the music because I want you to feel what I’m feeling. Kiss Land is like a horror movie.” Keep reading!
August 19, 2013 § 1 Comment
Just when you thought he was finished, The Weeknd drops another lustful song. The singer just released another collaboration track with friend Drake, titled “Live For.” The tune will probably receive a ton of hype, but for me it’s a sleeper. Drake takes over the song with his solid verse, as The Weeknd fades into the background with his weak and generic hook – “This the shit that I live for/With the people I die for.”
It’s no “The Zone” but it’s definitely passable. Listen below.
View the official tracklisting for Kiss Land, which drops on September 10, after the jump. Keep reading…
July 30, 2013 § 2 Comments
The Weeknd has just released a new song to give us an insight to his forthcoming album Kiss Land. The tune, titled “Love In The Sky,” has a minimal feel compared to his other jittery and hectic songs and his crooning vocals are incredibly smooth.
Take a listen below or watch an abbreviated clip from the singer:
July 22, 2013 § 1 Comment
The Weeknd is known for being mysterious and not showing his face often, but the singer flaunts his mug on the cover for his upcoming sophomore album Kiss Land. With his head cocked slightly in front of a green-cityscape background, its safe to say this new album will further amplify the singer’s affinity for sex.
Kiss Land will be available on September 10.