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In Review The Weeknds Trilogy

22nd August 2013 | Posted in Music

You'd be forgiven for asking who Abel Tesfaye is- or why he's decided to misspell Weekend as his stage name, but you would not be forgiven for tarnishing his fantastic debut album.

A collection of three mix tape's released throughout 2011 (hence the apt album title), Trilogy also includes 3 new never heard before tracks. If you were already aware of what this guy was up to, then we'd suggest not bothering to buy this album.

At one time you could get your hands on all three of the original mix tapes for free- but don't let that put you off. Loads of artists have done it, using it as a platform to get signed and bring out an album-but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

So, re packaged, banged on a disc and presented really rather nicely, Trilogy has hit the shelves to try and capture the love of unassuming R & B fans, and lure in those who have already heard The Weeknd's work, but want something they can hold to truly appreciate it.

One thing we can say, no matter which of those sides you fall on, is that Trilogy offers fantastic listening for your hard earned cash. Split into three sections, Trilogy is an exploration of noir emotion- delving into the thoughts and feelings a rock star lifestyle brings from all the euphoric highs, and every gritty low. The story spans over three discs, and some 160 minutes.

The first part of Trilogy- 'House of Balloons', details the climb. The rise to the top, the parties, the drugs and the sex, all pitched to a perfect balance of soulful sway and pounding bass. You'll find some meaning in the tracks that make up this section, and it will prove to be a rewarding listen, but in comparison to what is set to follow, you might find it being neglected when you come to change the track.

The best track off of 'House of Balloons'? 'The Morning'. Summing up what The Weeknd wanted this track list to be all about, it opens with some morning after guitar rifts and pretty unashamed lines "got the walls kicking like they six months pregnant...calls calling cabs at dawn quarter to seven." Sounds like someones had a good night... A build up echoes through the start of the track, painting the perfect image of what we all think The Weeknd to be about, before one of the catchiest beats on the album drops and you get pulled into silky smooth lyrics.

Onto the second section- titled 'Thursday'. Welcome to a world of remorse, regret and fear. Still hung up on the girls, the parties, the drugs and the strippers, The Weeknd is struggling to let go. Keeping that smooth and sexy feel that all his tracks manage to carry, the tone grows dark and loses some pace with tracks like 'The Birds' (parts one and two), and 'Rolling Stone'.

Move onto 'The Zone', which features one of The Weeknd's closest friends, Drake, for an in sight into what this track list is all about. A heavy thudding drum, relentless echoing guitar rift and a voice crammed with regret make for a harrowing track- backed up at the end by a one verse Drake rap. Dark, elusive, but beautiful.

Finally, the last installment of Trilogy- 'Echoes Of Silence', sees the relapse stage of The Weeknd's journey. This is perhaps where the most surprises lie in wait, as the addictions, the fears and the pain return to haunt a troubled artist.

Tracks like 'Next' and 'Echoes Of Silence' will give you the best representation of this final section- giving you slow, winding, troubled tracks with tortured lyrics that are fueled by slow piano tunes and low hushed vocals.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the whole album lies in 'Echoes Of Silence', as The Weeknd covers Michael Jackson's track 'Dirty Diana'. Calling it 'D.D.' he revamps the classic-pushing it into his own sublime world, giving it a new, slicker and more directional feel. This track almost feels angry-it's sung with a lot of pain, giving it a feel that was never achieved before. If it is possible, The Weeknd has taken Dirty Diana, and made it better.

Sexy, smooth, sublime. Trilogy is a revelation- not a revolution. You won't listen to this and think it's ground breaking, but you will listen to it and become hooked. At just 22, The Weeknd has created a persona and a voice for himself, becoming a package with a look, a voice, and a message all of his own. If this is just the start of what he has to offer, then the future holds amazing things for this young singer. 9/10

Ryan J Gray

 

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