Escape to ‘Kiss Land’ with The Weeknd

September 24, 2013
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It’s 10 tracks of pure bliss.

Canadian singer-producer Abel Tesfaye, better known by his stage name The Weeknd, proves his musical destiny with the release of debut studio album Kiss Land. The record, which released on September 10th by XO and Republic Records, came after months of fan anticipation stemming from the success of singles “Belong to the World”, “Kiss Land” and “Live For”. With the full-scale album brought to physical reality this month, we couldn’t help but get our hands on the material and discover for ourselves why The Weeknd has established itself as such a unique offering in the musical world.

Opening the record is the 6-minute, R&B-heavy “Professional”, which gives listeners a taste of the unusual yet highly enticing flair that The Weeknd evokes. Singing “And nothing really played out how it’s supposed to / depending on somebody else’s wealth”, the track incorporates surreal whisper effects as it glides effortlessly into a smooth pace halfway through. It’s a mixture of sexual implications and chilling realism that sets the album off on an ideal note.

Another memorable track comes halfway through the record. Featuring good friend and fellow Canadian phenomenon Drake, “Live For” features an infectious chorus with soothing verses that work simultaneously to ease the track forwards and develop a smooth rhythm. Drake’s verse is both compelling and impressive; though brief, it is his quintessential sound and adds an intriguing touch to the cosmic track.

The title track off of the album, “Kiss Land”, begins on a haunting note with the incorporation of fantastical reverberations and screaming sound effects. Singing “Go ahead, girl / strip it down, close it down / I just wanna hear your body talk”, the song is explicitly sexual, though there appears to be something else at work. Despite the raw references to leisure activities often associated with the ‘good life’, “Kiss Land” is a melodic audio journey – the ideal candidate for the title track.

Bringing the album to a close is the piano-heavy “Tears In The Rain” which, along with being the second longest track on the record, evokes a strong falsetto fronting while maintaining a rhythmic mystical value. The subject matter is considerably more downtrodden than previous tracks, agonizing over a sense of selfishness that inevitably ends in loss. Though depressing by nature, it ties the album together with delicate humanity, and proves just how refreshing The Weeknd’s talent is.

It’s an audio treat for fans of The Weeknd’s mysterious and intriguing sound, in addition to providing those unfamiliar with his material with the perfect introduction. Combining compelling lyrics with a notable instrumental backing and an unforgettable guest appearance, the trip to Kiss Land is one you don’t want to miss.

 

Keep up with WeKnowtheDJ’s Shelley on Instagram and Twitter: @shelleydehekker

by Shelley DeHekker

@shelleydehekker

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