CD review: The WeekndComment on this story
Your Weekend Special.
Once in a while, an unknown artist comes from nowhere to change the state of music. Sometimes they even start a whole new genre and life as we know it is never the same.
One such person is Abel Tesfaye, who you might know as The Weeknd. The Ethiopian-Canadian singer who rose to fame on YouTube two years ago by posting his songs has finally made a complete album for the mainstream listener.
The album is called Trilogy and it comprises an incredible three CDs, each with 10 songs.
Though you might be tempted to categorise his sound as R&B, the correct term would be PBR&B, a new sound created by using synthesisers and light drums as the main instruments, with a lot of echo effects giving it a dreamy feel. You almost feel high when you listen. Other artists trying out this new genre include Frank Ocean, Miguel and Usher on his latest album, Looking 4 Myself.
Enough of the education.
The question should be whether it sounds good, and Trilogy is a great album. It is a slow-paced collection songs that talk about love, sex, drugs, partying and all the things that excite a 22-year-old like Tesfaye.
A standout track is Wicked Games, which is a cross between rock and traditional R&B. Tesfaye has the ability to use obscenities and the N-word so effortlessly you would think they’re clean.
The Weeknd throws in Montreal, which is an example of his infectious sound. It has French lyrics that you might find yourself mouthing even though you don’t know what they mean.
The Morning takes a jab at strippers and prostitutes. The Zone, which features Drake, is about making love as opposed to having sex. It is right up Drake’s alley since he is a Mr Sensitive slow-rap man.
For those who have never heard The Weeknd’s music, perhaps D.D is a good place to start. D.D stands for Dirty Diana, the classic Michael Jackson hit, and The Weeknd nails the king of pop’s registers.
On a chilled song he sounds like a young Donell Jones, but when he chooses to, he takes the falsetto to Maxwell’s level. It’s impressive. Watch out for this guy. He is the future. – Munya Vomo