Album: The Weeknd, Trilogy (Universal Republic)

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The Independent Culture

The Weeknd is Abel Tesfaye, an Ethiopian-Canadian R&B singer whose debut triple-album comprises the three albums he made freely available throughout 2011, recorded with producers Doc McKinney and Illangelo.

Tesfaye has a high, warbling intonation, like R. Kelly channeled through Craig David, and a lubricious predator's personality whose snake-like gaze both transfixes and repels, as he relates how badly he ruined another sexual conquest whilst raddled on drugs and booze. Trembling with supposed vulnerable devotion, The Weeknd weasels his way queasily into unprotected affections under cover of arrangements whose dark, miasmic synth tones and itchy, sludgy rhythms blend the apparently conflicting worlds of R&B and industrial new-wave.

Download: Wicked Games; Montreal; Coming Down