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THE WEEKND: Thursday

While The Weeknd may top our list of ones to watch, he’s also left us wondering what goes through his mind. As we look for answers in his latest mixtape Thursday, prepare yourself for the dark and sexual world of The Weeknd.

Reviewed by: Jason Weintraub

Many have become hypnotized by the sound of 21-year-old Canadian singer Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, since the release of his first free mixtape, House of Balloons. His mysterious persona is just as mesmerizing in that we know very little about him. He’s not a big fan of the media, and he rarely, if ever, gives interviews. So fans are often left to discern what they will from the R&B crooner’s music—true or not.

His first mixtape was simple: the black and white covers that he posted on Tumblr for his singles to his tuneful sounds. Thursday, his latest offering is much more complex. With piercing cries and heavier sounds (drums and synths) than the first installment, The Weeknd begins the mixtape with “Lonely Star”, ushering in raw intensity (and setting the tone overall), both musically and lyrically, early.

“And baby I can fuck you right… and baby you can have the cars, the clothes, the sex, the jewels, the house. Baby you can have it all.

We can all relate to the deep cravings and wanting that is typical from The Weeknd on this joint. Songs like “The Zone,” the fourth track on the 9-track mixtape, seconds the mood and style while showcasing Abel’s wide vocal range. The production also begins to change here, touching back to a more basic, airy HOB style, if only to allow the singer more breathing room and the only cameo, a verse from The Weeknd’s Canadian peer Aubrey Graham (Drake).

While the beginning of the album offers a stronger overall theme,  you cannot deny the passion in The Weeknd’s voice on tracks like “The Birds Pt. 1 and Pt. 2.” “Rolling Stone” and “Gone” are light, almost a 180 from the richer, more complicated and sometimes clustered instrumentals at the beginning of the project. While lyrics like, “I love the way you taste, drink it till I’m horny baby. Fuck me while I’m faded,” keep the raunch factor high, the mellow melody of “Gone” feels more emo than hypersexual.

A standout artist, The Weeknd has managed to independently put out consecutive solid mixtapes. While this effort may not have possessed as much shock value as its predecessor, the anticipation around it led an estimated 180,000 fans to crash his website on his Thursday release date. Certainly they’re satisfied by the lusty, hypnotic and modern edgy soulful this mixtape features. True, some enthusiasts may prefer the first to the sophomore effort, but the experimental tracks are only a positive progression, a midway point, if you will, leading up to the climax— the next and final expected project of 2011 by The Weeknd, Echoes Of Silence.

Download Thursday, the new mixtape by The Weeknd, HERE.

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