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The Weeknd: House of Balloons
Buy! - (self-released)
Toronto's Abel Tesfaye, the mastermind behind The Weeknd, has emerged in 2011 as a breakthrough artist thanks to his excellent debut mixtape House of Balloons, an intoxicating and transportive exploration of seductive contemporary R&B that absorbs the listener into a provocative, atmospheric world of sex, drugs, and partying that is both alluring and disgusting, glamorous and sad. Aesthetically similar to Drake, The-Dream, and Frank Ocean, The Weeknd's production team of Doc McKinney and Illangelo help create a distinctive, washed-out landscape and gain extra indie cred points for sampling Siouxsie and the Banshees ("House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls") and Beach House ("The Party & The After Party," "The Loft"). Free download at: 5/26/2011 - Alex
Other Weeknd album reviews:

Echoes of Silence - 1/6/2012
Thursday - 8/19/2011