By David Peter Simon | August 19th, 2011
The Weeknd has dropped his second mixtape. Time for more babymaking.
Today, I opened up my computer to the wonderful surprise that viral and R&B genius Abel Tesfaye has dropped his highly awaited follow-up to House of Balloons titled Thursday. The mixtape, part of a trilogy that will include Echoes of Silence (to be delivered sometime in the autumn), was self-released on his website and is spreading like wildfire on all the social media networks.
Lady Gaga even posted three tweets that simply said “FUCK. THURS. DAY.” Yeah, that’s right — he’s gotten big. While I wasn’t really impressed with “The Birds: Part 1″ when it came out earlier this summer, I’ve got to admit I was still as giddy as a child to download this album and listen to tracks that talk about girls, girls, and, well, girls. But so was everyone else.. it took me almost 20 minutes to download this album (I’m used to two) and apparently all the traffic started making issues for the website. Like I said, big.
Maybe it’s because he was named an “Artist to Watch” by Rolling Stone or that his mixtape was listed alongside The Arcade Fire for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize or that Drake called him one of the greatest artists he’s ever heard. Or maybe it’s simply because he’s fucking talented and produces good stuff. No matter what the reason, I still can’t believe he’s not signed to a label.
The 21-year old is plainly good at what he does. I guess like he said in “Loft Music” he’s just a “raw motherfucker.”
So back in March I got my hands on the House of Balloons mixtape, and was blown away first by how well the artist marketed himself (free music! viral distribution! mysterious background!) and second by how innovative his sound was (cross between 90s Usher and present day Drake with use of electronic synth and indie samples — what?!). Thursday was no different — still well marketed, highly innovative, and mind-blowing. In one word, impressive.
Infusing each of his songs with a feeling of sexiness, it isn’t the quality of the R&B music itself but rather what Tom Ewing of The Guardian best describes as Tesfaye’s “command of mood.” The tracks are gorgeous, palpably able of creating a musical environment in your room and, most importantly, really fun to listen to over and over again.
Interestingly, Tesfaye decided not to just recreate the success of House of Balloons by pumping out exact replicas of his popular songs but actually departs a lot from his sound in tracks like “Life of the Party,” “The Birds: Part One” (still not a fan — what’s with all those loud drums?!) and “Rolling Stone.” Luckily for us, this isn’t necessarily a radical departure — just a logical step forward.
Favorite tracks include “The Zone” (watch for the surprise), “The Birds: Part Two” (reminds me of a bonus track to “House of Balloons”) and “Rolling Stone” (big fan of the acoustic-y guitar paired with his typical autotuned wailing).
Simply put, with lyrics salacious as ever (e.g. the featured song repeats “I’ma touch you right” seven times over), this album is here to please. Head over to The Weeknd’s website to download the free (yes, still free!) mixtape. Also, be sure to follow his Tumblr so that you can be the first to grab his next mixtape, Echoes of Silence and subscribe to his YouTube to watch tracks drop as they’re produced (“The Zone” actually came out nearly two months ago).
If you dig this, make sure to check out his fan page for constant updates on the Drake/Weeknd constant collaboration over at ovoxo.net. Rumor has it that Drake’s next album is heavily influenced by and featuring The Weeknd so stay on top of your shit here at IndieShuffle as we cover all the hottest new releases.