Whoa. Early Christmas present from 21 year-old Canadian powerhouse Abel Tesfaye (known to you as The Weeknd). What we have right here is Echoes of Silence, the third and final installment of a sprawling trilogy.
A quick first impression*: This shit jams. It jams hard. Not as hard as House of Balloons (there’s not a better EP this year), but it’s definitely superior to Thursday. And since that was his last work, we’ll credit him with growth.
Here’s what I really like about Echoes. He’s expanding his story, he’s finding new ways to show and prove. Let’s take a look at a few things he does on this EP that we’ve never heard him do: deliver a spot-on cover of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana,” sing in French (“Montreal”), collaborate with Clams Casino (“The Fall”). And despite all those new ingredients, the sequencing remains seamless throughout.
Also: the usual drug-as-sex-cum-sex-as-drug metaphors now have company, namely relationship woes and songs of triumph. The update makes sense–the Weeknd has hit a pivotal turn in his journey. Just six months ago, he was a lonely stoner on the brink of stardom. Now the world knows him as Drake’s buddy; his phone is blowing up; his pussy stock has tripled. So when he sings “You just want me ’cause I’m next” or taunts critics who “never thought that I would ever go this far,” it might sound like the “Same Old Song,” but you’ll never find yourself impugning his authenticity. Music is a crowded space, but there’s always room for an artist who speaks from the heart.
Grab Echoes of Silence below and try not to feel guilty about getting all this shit for free.
- XO/The Host
- Same Old Song
- The Fall
- Echoes of Silence
*[If this is your second time on this page you’ll notice that this entry is now[ longer than it was two hours ago. Let me explain. I didn’t hear a note of Echoes of Silence before I threw up the download link. Now I’ve blazed through the entire thing. Twice. So this is my take after two full listens. In the unlikely event that my opinion changes and I end up hating it more than I’ve stated here, I’ll notify you by telegram. But only if I hate it. Deal? – The Rizh]