Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Weeknd (mixtape review)

The Weeknd have made an awesome mixtape called 'House of Balloons', which you can get for free on their website (http://www.the-weeknd.com/). I blogged about the sultry, tense 'What You Need' before; the mixtape carries on the smooth R&B vocals and bass-heavy beats combo, with a few warped samples helping to make sure the tracks never feel too glossy. 'The Party & The After Party' is my favourite; it samples Beach House's 'Master Of None', and although at 7:45 is maybe a bit lengthy is an absolute tune, with the jangling steel-panny synths and dry drum sounds of the original balanced against the anguished vocals and beefed up bass of Jeremy Rose's production. 'Loft Party' also samples Beach House and is pretty sweet, the erratically placed lo-fi snare is a little grating though. The reverb heavy 'Wicked Games' and the noodly guitars of 'The Morning' utilise slower melodies, giving the silence of the tracks a little more prominence in the production and showing the duo's concept works as well in a more downtempo, ballad-y structure as it does in the higher tempo, dancey numbers.

It's definitely really refreshing to hear smooth R&B flavours translated to a more groovy, bassy format; It's cool too to hear music of this genre utilise silence in the production, compared to the heavily equalised sound of commerical hip-hop that gets played a lot on daytime radio.

The Weeknd - The Party and the After Party

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