A master of floating soundscapes and explicit tales of love and lust, Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, finally satisfies the anticipation that has been building for the past couple of years by releasing his official debut album, Kiss Land.
One way of describing The Weeknd; he’s a sexually-charged choirboy whose music plays like a cross between Prince, Bjork, and Terence Trent D’Arby. Having said that, there really is no singular description that can fairly describe the falsetto’s creative genius and recording talent being that he’s a man of many faces. With that, Kiss Land is a variety roulette with something for everybody whilst holding the attention of the album’s core audience with ease.
With an array of musical styles found throughout the Ontario native’s first stab at a major label release, one minute you’re thrust in to a laid back and time to reflect style of modern day R&B on cuts such as 'The Town' and the lovingly arrogant 'Pretty', and the next your ears are witness to The Weeknd’s playboy exploits over an electronically 80s inspired instrumental on Kavinsky’s 'Odd Look'. One thing’s for certain, wherever you turn sex is a reoccurring factor.
Listen to 'Odd Look' by Kavinsky and The Weeknd below
An album of understanding oneself, Kiss Land visits the human fear of the unknown when it comes to love, sex, and inhibitions. Brave in the sense that The Weeknd admits his faults when it comes to matters of the heart - on “Adaptation” he sings, “Then I realised she might have been the one/ I let it go for a little fun.” - stripping down his inner being for the world to see over tempo-lacking instrumental gems [so that they are easily digestible] the album is relatable in so many ways and speaks the mind of commitment-phobes everywhere.
Obvious from the multiple pre-Kiss Land music videos, The Weeknd can’t help himself when it comes to a pretty face and a slim waist. Acting as a muse in a sense, the idea of an attractive female being his play thing inspires him to create harmonious visions of audio porn straight out of the pages of 50 Shades Of Grey. On 'Live For', which sees the reuniting of The Weeknd with Drake after their supposed fallout, he sings, “They wanna threesome, then some,” further cementing his casting application for the soon-to-be screenplay adaptation of E. L. James’ multi-million selling novel.
Speeding things up ever so slightly, the two versions of 'Wanderlust' featured on the album deserve two separate sets of applause. Adding a balance to Kiss Land whereby a mid-tempo injection proves The Weeknd isn’t a one trick pony, it’s hard to decide which version of 'Wanderlust', whether the original or the circa 2000 Neptunes-esque Pharrell Remix, comes out as the victor.
Atmospherically mesmerising with the ability to set the mood for a night of passion, Kiss Land persuades the female gender to consider the art of being a player as endearing. Testing the boundaries of human explicitness, much like Prince did with Dirty Mind, the reflective and airy backdrops that add volume to The Weeknd’s bedroom tales - that come courtesy of Danny Boy Styles and The Weeknd himself - will help you identify what type of person you are between the sheets.