Today: Jul 17, 2024

Review: The Weeknd’s third album silences critics

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‘Echoes of Silence’ was released by The Weeknd as his third free album of 2011.

Eliezer Santiago — Staff Writer
Releasing three mixtapes within a year, creating a new sound of music, becoming a major name in music while being an independent artist, and covering a Michael Jackson song are all very difficult things to accomplish.

However, The Weeknd has managed to successfully do all of this and more.

This time last year The Weeknd was an unknown name, but it wasn’t until March when The Weeknd quietly dropped off what would become many critics’ album of the year choice: “House of Balloons.”

Garnering such critical acclaim would be hard to top but in August, “Thursday” was released, polarizing many fans and critics who cited that the allure and “magic” of House of Ballons was not present.

Questions about whether The Weeknd was a one time thing or a force to be reckoned with followed.

Over the winter break, a couple of days before Christmas, The Weeknd again quietly dropped off “Echoes of Silence” completing the House of Balloons trilogy and silencing the naysayers.

“House of Balloons” brought listeners’ ears first into a new world filled with sex, drugs, love, and lust.

“Thursday” brought listeners into a twisted relationship between people in lust.

“Echoes of Silence” ties the two previous mixtapes together forming a coherent albeit hazy understanding of The Weeknd and his sexual endeavors.

Echoes of Silence feels like a cinematic experience where all the tracks seamlessly flow together.

Those lost in the music won’t notice most transitions from song to song.

Remember the mentioning of covering Michael Jackson? The Weeknd covered MJ’s Dirty Diana and used it to open Echoes of Silence.

Bold choice for a new singer and even bolder to use it as the opening track, but The Weeknd morphs MJ’s classic into a new monster with deeper, aggressive drums and his signature dark tone.

The Weeknd channeled his inner Michael and sounds exactly like him for the first verse of the song.

Executed perfectly, “Dirty Diana” lays down the groundwork for the rest of the experience that is Echoes of Silence.

As the album progresses, The Weeknd dives deeper and darker into his realm, becoming sinister at times.

Probably the best part of the album is the transition between “XO” to the “Host” and then into “Initiation.”

In “XO” the Weekend sets the mood by singing, “Blame it on the booze, blame it on the weed, blame it on the night life, lights passing you, just don’t blame it on me that you wanna come and party with a n**** like me” and follows with, “I love it when your eyes are red, are you on my cloud yet?, Cause I got a brand new cam can we video feed? Can we POV?”

As he seduces this woman the instrumental fades and comes back to introduce the “Host,” a quick bridge linking “XO” to “Initiation.”

The serenading and seducing stops as he sings to the former lover, “You said you want me, but I remember who you are, girl it wasn’t long ago, didn’t think I’d go this far,” and as a shivering, chill-inducing beat drops, he sings, “I got test for you, you said you want my heart, well baby you can have it all, there’s just something that I need for you is to meet my boys, I got a lot of boys.”

The track transitions to “Initiation,” where the beat and vocals become distorted and spastic, which insinuate an intoxicated state of being.

This theatrical moment in the mixtape along with “Dirty Diana” is reason enough to listen to Echoes of Silence.

The Weeknd wrapped up the House of Balloons trilogy (a journey of love and lust) perfectly with “Echoes of Silence” singing, “You thought there was more to us but you knew how this would end.”

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