Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye's triple-album compilation of three previous mixtapes, Trilogy, caused a stir on its release last year, but this debut album proper fails to develop or change-up his formula of predatory sexuality expressed in tremulous tones. Employing samples from Emika, Portishead and others, the arrangements have a dark, lascivious fascination, but Tesfaye's cold, reptilian character is deeply off-putting. As portrayed in “Kiss Land” and in the prostitute encounter “Professional”, this is a world in which sexual desire is joyless and compromised by commerce, yet still claims the emotional pull of soul music, in the Marvin Gaye/Otis Redding sense. Which leaves you wondering what has happened to this man's soul.
Download: Professional; Wanderlust; Belong To The World
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies