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Review – The Weeknd: Echoes of Silence

Jordan Bronson
January 11, 2012
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

But baby I’m a pro at letting go, I love it when they come and go/ But it could have went so many ways, so many ways it can go.” Abel Tesfaye, or better known by his stage name, The Weeknd, brings a slightly darker tone to the typical R&B singer like fellow artist Frank Ocean. Just several months ago, the name The Weeknd was almost unheard of before being co-signed by Young Money artist, Drake. As the ominous modern R&B tracks were pushed to the public, the hype behind Tesfaye has built tremendously with the track to prove why. His work has been critically acclaimed by many music lovers since House of Balloons, his first official mix tape. Possessing a powerful choir-like vocals, production is also a very powerful skill in his arsenal, utilizing an array of synths and samples to compliment his own style.

With consistent delivery in excellent work, Echoes of Silence is undoubtedly one of the best digital releases from him so far. Even on the third time around, the whole theme of story-telling of dark realities of the world from drugs to gang violence still works for him. Serving as a prime example of this is his own version of the King of Pop’s Dirty Diana, entitled D.D. Although it’s no testimony to his own lyrical ability, it’s an excellent way to begin the track and is a lot more eerie than the original and sends chills down your spine just listening to it.

Lyrically, Echoes of Silence is unmatched by any of The Weeknd’s previous works, going to lengths that make you think about what the song is saying. “Cause you thought there was more to us you knew how this would end / It’s gonna end how you expected girl you’re such a masochist and I ask why.” A lyric from the title track, Echoes of Silence, says so much in just a few words, telling how she brought this upon herself, knowing she would get hurt which mimics the manner of a masochist who hurts themselves for pleasure. It is precisely this type of music that got The Weeknd to the level of excitement and hype he is at now. These lyrics in hand with the vocals delivered provides a insta-hit.

Production is one of the weaker areas for the album. The production isn’t weak itself, rather, the variety of it. Although I enjoy the medley of synths and samples, often times I would love to see a different type of instrumental that leads to a different Weeknd, although the current sound isn’t going anywhere soon. Crew Love, a track off of Drake’s album, Take Care, is exactly what I’d like to see from him. It’s not too far from his style but it’s a different sound that is incredibly enjoyable and not a complete train wreck. Variation is a huge key to long term success and as a fan, I’d like to see a lot more from him than now.

The track list is incredibly powerful but the lack of music so far into the series of mix-tapes doesn’t really satisfy my hunger for more songs on one tape. Nine songs came on each entry adding up to a complete 27 songs but stepping it up to eleven or twelve can make all the difference to a dedicated fan. The EP isn’t flawed in the music itself but more so the short duration of it.

Stepping into the music industry takes major leaps and knowing your strengths and weaknesses play a major role especially when going from just another local artist to a innovative ‘We Got Next’ type of artist. The Weeknd may be a new name to many people but when it comes to his content, its a change from the typical music force fed on the airways of the radio. Although it’s not a perfect soundtrack, Echoes of Silence is a excellent entry by The Weeknd, by far one of his best, and will surely have me coming back for more.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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