Feature

The Weeknd: Echoes of Silence

The release of Echoes of Silence completes the trilogy Abel Tesfaye started last year.

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In less than a year, the artist who records as The Weeknd has pushed R&B into “harrowing, engrossing” new territory, said Erika Ramirez and Jason Lipshutz in Billboard.com. With his third self-released album since just last spring, Toronto native Abel Tesfaye has completed a trilogy built around “dark, dangerous hooks,” his own stunning vocal skills, and a talent for dramatizing the lonely life of an angry, narcissistic party fiend. From the opening track—an “audacious” cover of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana”—this collection “exudes a brazen, animalistic confidence,” said Andrew Ryce in Pitchfork.com. The music still features a “rich tapestry of synths and samples,” but the songwriting is even more streamlined than on his attention-grabbing debut. As Tesfaye relates tales of disturbing sexual encounters and self-destructive acts, his “quivering” falsetto “remains the star attraction.” All in all, “it’s a strong finish” to a self-mythologizing trilogy that created 2011’s “most exciting musical universe.”

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