Record Review: The Weeknd – “House of Balloons”

Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, is a new 20 year old Toronto R&B artist who has got a lot of notice as a result of his support from Drake who signed him to his record label. It is quite astonishing that less than 2 months ago no one knew the fresh and unique new artist.  That is, until the release of his new mixtape which was available for free download online.

The tape, House of Balloons, is unlike most other music, and is considered to be under the genre of R&B with a hint of soul.  It has a relaxing, and almost hypnotizing vibe to it that has captured the attention of many people. House of Balloons is a remarkably confident and bold debut as a result of its unusual selection of instrumentals.  For starters, the track “What You Need”: with Burial-style vocal samples, techno scrape, and a sticky pop chorus, is far from your average R&B singer and it’s the diversity of this entire mixtape that stands out for me. All the songs on House of Balloons worked out for Tesfaye; he has a great voice.

I’m not a huge fan of mellow songs – I prefer my music up beat, and energetic. However, the unique sound of House of Balloons has persuaded me to be more receptive to this kind of music. I definitely think that he will make it far in the music industry and be another great Toronto artist. – Fana Abay
Download House of Balloons here.

“The Party After the Party”


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