Artist: The Weeknd
Label: XO, Republic
Genre(s): R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop
Released: September 10, 2013
Canadian crooner, The Weeknd, just released Kiss Landa solid album that wont disappoint loyal fans whove been with Abel since the days of House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence. Each of The Weeknds albums have different overarching themes with common motifs being drugs, sex, love & fame. Similar to his XO mentor & label-mate, Drake, The Weeknd focuses on fame & depression on Kiss Land.
The Weeknd makes every pain-filled track sound so damn good; one can easily ignore The Weeknds confessions and cries for help on this dark, reflective album. Most of the tracks have a sexy, electronic instrumental quality that makes for a perfect late-night album. However, if one decides to actually LISTEN to Kiss Land and not simply hear it, theyll quickly realize that the album is bitter sweet. For example, Love in the Sky sounds like it should be at the beginning of everyones sex-playlist until you listen to the lyrics, which include:
“How does it feel? Do you feel like you did before? Do you see the world getting small? How does it feel? Are you free? As for me, Ive been getting grown; as for me Ive been getting old. As for me, been flying around the world; I been killing these shows but Im always getting high, cause my confidences low and Im always in a rush, aint no time to fuck slow.”
How not sexy is that!
Love in the Sky is followed up by Belong to the World, which is not a sexy trackits up-tempobut it is a love song of sorts. The 23-year-old singer seems to be professing his love for an entertainer (read: stripper) as he sings:
“Im not a fool, I just love that youre dead inside (that you dead in side). Im not a fool; Im just lifeless too. But you taught me how to feel, when nobody ever would (nobody ever would). And you taught me how to love, when nobody ever could.”
Pretty, the other love song on Kiss Land is almost just as heartbreakingly sad as the rest of the album.
Beyond the depression, listeners will not be able to escape the Michael Jackson influence. When The Weeknd sings precious little diamond, I belong to you pretty little diamond on the 80s-inspired Wanderlust, the singer sounds so much like MJ that its almost scary.
Kiss Land, the title track, is the most interesting song on the album. The first part of the 7 minute 36 second song has a theme park quality. There are whimsical chimes and screams of a girl in the background. The Weeknd does not seem depressed as he sings about sex with fans. There is no element of reflection on this track; The Weeknd seems to be painting a picture of his life, as it seems, not as it is. The second half of the track transitions into what some might describe as strip club music; the bass is turned up and the mood is turned down. The Weeknd begins to sound more like a rapper in both his style of singing and his lyrics. He goes on to tell listeners, This aint nothing to relate to Even if you tried. This track puts the album into perspective. Kiss Land is the fantasy place where The Weeknd lives, consisting of sex, drugs & his rapper friends. This life aint nothing to relate to because it is not real; its fabricated; its produced. However, Abels feelings of depression, pain and loneliness are real and relatable. Ironically (or perhaps intentionally), the real Abel is over shadowed by the high quality production of the synthesized instrumentals heard throughout the album.
Thus, Kiss Land will probably become the fall soundtrack for every college student and 20-something entertaining late-night guests. Kiss Land is the soundtrack for a generation that hears but does not listen.
Tracks We Like: Professional, The Town, Wanderlust, Kiss Land
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