The Weeknd - Thursday - 2011 R + B - Sealed 2LP
The Weeknd - Thursday
Label: Republic Records
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album
Original Release 2011
In a gatefold sleeve.
ReReleased: 21 Aug 2015
Genre: Electronic, Funk / Soul, Pop
Style: Contemporary R&B
A1 Lonely Star 5:49
A2 Life Of The Party 4:57
B1 Thursday 5:20
B2 The Zone
Vocals Drake 6:59
B3 The Birds Part 1 3:34
C1 The Birds Part 2 5:51
C2 Gone 8:08
D1 Rolling Stone 3:51
D2 Heaven Or Las Vegas 5:53
D3 Valerie 4:46
Barcode and Other Identifiers
The Weeknd releases part two of the critically-acclaimed Trilogy with the debut of Thursday releasing on 8/21/2015. Alternative R&B revolutionary The Weeknd remains one of the most enigmatic artists of the 21st century. The Grammy Award-nominated, platinum-selling trendsetter first rose to prominence with his three independent online releases in 2011 House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence. Upon release, media tastemakers ranging from Complex, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and Spin to MTV, BET, XXL, and The Source immediately became supporters.
Under a creative alliance between the artist s visionary collective XO and Republic Records, 2012 s Trilogy reached platinum status in the US & Canada and debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200. Only a year later, Kiss Land would go on to be named #5 on Entertainment Weekly s BestAlbums of 2013 list.
The production is slightly harsher and streaked with violence, befitting the lyrical content-- "Life of the Party", the best and most disturbing song here, is based around doom-like guitar riffs that suggest something truly terrible about to happen. The guitars burst forth during Tesfaye's mocking chorus ("you're the life of the party"), sung as he casually convinces a girl into a group-sex situation. Other songs are tinged with similarly abrasive sounds: drill'n'bass noises rattle around in the background of opening track "Lonely Star"; "Rolling Stone" begins with a blustery chunk of heavily processed guitar; and the final track, "Heaven or Las Vegas" (not a Cocteau Twins cover) features a late-song interruption by screeching effects and heavy echo. For contrast , the only jarring touch to the production on the fairly one-note House of Balloons is the title track's Siouxsie and the Banshees sample. So the world here, in addition to being more sonically varied, feels just a little darker and a little more dangerous.
Oh yeah-- and Drake shows up on this one. He delivers an end-of-song verse on "The Zone", very much in his "I'm on One" mode. Which means he's full of confidence and rapping in a manner that lurches forward and then slows-up, teasing his melodic, every-dude croon but never giving into those R&B impulses. The Weeknd and Drake have been linked for a while now, first through a series of blog and Twitter co-signs and now as proper collaborators, so it's interesting to finally hear the superstar step into this far more debauched world. Surprisingly, he remains himself, talking about not having fun at a strip club ("Whoa, all these broken hearts on that pole") and later on, advising a groupie to "be you." Even when Drake seemingly stumbles into an encounter in which he does indeed, fuck "your girlfriend," he isn't devilishly smiling about it, and there's no question of consent as there often is on many of the Weeknd's drug-fueled seduction songs. The introduction of anything resembling an ethical point of view is jarring and underlines the stark differences between these collaborators.
Drake gets mileage out of being conflicted and in over his head, while Tesfaye sings from the perspective of an unabashed creep who doesn't care what people think, and waits for the moment when everything's at a tipping point and people's guards are down. Part of the odd appeal to the Weeknd's music is that by spending this much time with a predator, the vulnerable inconsistencies in an image trying hard to armor itself with coke, pills, and cynicism start to show through. Repeating the days of the week on "Thursday" slowly comes off as pretty pathetic, even a tad OCD, and "Gone", a hypnotic, purposefully stagnant epic, feels a lot like being at a party near a guy content to tell you how fucked up he is, over and over again. The gorgeous "Rolling Stone" contains meta references to Tesfaye "smoking til' [he] can't hit another note" and concerns that his mystery is fading. It's almost sympathetic, though it's just as likely that this is some new, more nefarious form of seduction by way of self-deprecation; after all, the last words crooned on the album are, "I am God."
When Thursday comes to an end, you have to wonder where the Weeknd go from here. This is the danger of anonymity and telling of the way Internet hype programs our cheapest impulses: We're ready to ask about the next thing before this other thing, even though it's quite good and rewarding, has come to an end. The Weeknd, however, know what they're doing, and so, in a few months, another new release, Echoes of Silence, is due to arrive, and our strange, dysfunctional relationship with their damaged R&B will start all over again.
The Weeknd - Thursday
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The Weeknd - Gone
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The Weeknd - Lonely Star (Music Video)
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The Weeknd - The Zone (feat. Drake)
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