The Weeknd / Thursday / Self-Released
Abel Tesfaye just won’t stop. The Toronto-based R&B voice has pressed all the right buttons, exploring, arousing and stimulating every weak spot of the current state of music until it regains its composure and state of mind to take another listen. As House Of Balloons achieved the aforementioned, Thursday – The Weeknd’s second of three mixtapes – precedes with the same intentions and does it with more of an artistic outlook while not becoming monotonous. Vocalists wading through modern rhythm and blues have found themselves tapping into more atmospheric tones than blaring bass, but Tesfaye chooses to tear deeper into the vibe, hoarding thematic and sonic pieces all the while pushing that punch-drunk emotion that construes The Weeknd.
The eight-minute sonnet “Gone” doesn’t lose its compassion whereas “The Zone” photographs reserved thoughts and desire that builds in sentiment with each strike of a piano key, leading to a guest verse from hip hop artist Drake. “Walk your broken heart through that door / Sit yo’ sexy ass on that couch, wipe that lipstick off of your mouth / I take it slow,” he explains in a coy tone that would add an extra effect to the reggae-tinted closer “Heaven Or Las Vegas” which accelerates through reverb as it goes on. These feats of Thursday make it more of a statement than its predecessor; the adventures into drugs and naked affection are still present, but the experiments and transformation of Tesfaye’s concepts and vocal flow is why “Rolling Stone” disturbs more than “Lonely Star” or “Life Of The Party”. Still, there isn’t an artist that can be referenced to analyze The Weeknd’s compositions of progressive soul. It’s just a stroke of imagination worth obsessing over when the mood’s right.
Download: “Rolling Stone”, “The Zone”, “Heaven Or Las Vegas”
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