Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Just like Rebecca Black, I love The Weeknd

The internet's been blowing up about this band/music project thing called "The Weeknd." When I say the internet's been blowing up, I mean that pitchfork gave it the "best new music" tag, Donald Glover posted the download link to "House of Balloons" (which I assume to be the debut album) on his tumblr and apparently Drake has been raving about this guy on twitter. "This guy" is named Abel Tesfaye and is 20 years old! I am 20 years old and I still haven't taken the internet by storm and I've been posting hard on the internet for four plus years. Apparently the cool new thing in music is to be really young and make really great, interesting music. See: OFWGKTA (that stands for "Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All," mom. Don't look them up, mom. You'll hate them, mom. Everyone else though, download away. Watch there performance on Fallon and the Woodie Awards and be blown away.) So what's this weeknd thing all about? Firstly, you must understand, It isn't The Weekend, it is The Weeknd. Great! But what does it sound like?! Only awesome. I went into listening to this with no expectations. I had read nothing about The Weeknd, nor listened to anything by them. I downloaded it and was like "I really need to listen to that." I finally started listening to "House of Balloons" tonight, and let me tell you. Super-duper-great! All of these vague, positive adjectives! But what does it sound like?! Well, you know what popular R&B from a few years back sounds like? Good. And you know what Justin Timberlake's solo work sounds like? Good. And you know what the genre chillwave is? Good. (I'm not a huge fan of the last one, but I do like some of the bands that could be described as such.) You take all that and mix it together and make it sound really good and that's The Weeknd. You could also describe it as R. Kelly, but without the rape. There are some things I don't love about it. Sometimes his voice is auto-tuned. And sometimes they do that thing where they take the singers voice and drop it really low for a couple seconds and the bring it back to the normal pitch. I don't understand the appeal of that effect, but it sells. I wish I could say it works in this, but it doesn't. It's incredibly distracting and doesn't sound good. The major problem with this entire record is a lot of the songs deteriorate into echoey repetition of the singer "Oooing" nicely and the same drumbeat over and over. It isn't a huge problem though. It's all very well put together and a solid record. DOWNLOAD IT. Overall, I think pitchfork accurately rated it with an 8.5/10.

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