The Weeknd feat. Drake ‘The Zone’

Abel Tesfaye better known by his stage name The Weeknd, is a Canadian R&B recording artist and record producer from Scarborough, Ontario. ‘The Weekend’ has built his reputation and musicality on a number of mixtapes brought out in the last few years. Pretty cool, considering he’s turned 24 this year and released a compilation Album: Trilogy; which consisted of remastered  versions of three mixtapes already in the pipeline plus three new tracks; to much critical acclaim. Noted as being ‘the best musical talent of his generation’ and the ‘best musical talent since Michael Jackson‘, its no surprise that he’s been nominated for prizes in the ‘Best Web-born artist’ category of the MTV O music awards and the 2012 Sirius XM Indies: independent music awards.

I’ll say this for this week’s single: While ‘The Weekend’ might very well be something of a wunderkind (more new words for you) this particular track might not be the best one to showcase his talent. On a number of different levels.

Thanks guys.

The track starts off with quite transient vocal/tech harmony before adding in a main baseline ‘heartbeat’ drum beat that pretty much continues for the whole of the song. With minute variances here and there, which while applauded for its continuance and rhythmic ‘chill out’ factor and with a likeable vocal arrangement in a very tame Michael Jackson falsetto; it’s only once you’ve listened to the track a few times that you realise that the lyrics in a way are actually a little haunting and the vocal  harmonies created are in themselves melodic and are really quite good, giving a blanketing electric feel over the heavy ensnaring baseline.

True, it might vocally  create an enigmatic atmospheric tone, but with the continuous level baseline it builds some sexually charged suggestive cadence which makes you completely ignore the lyrics. There’s nothing enigmatic about synth layered falsetto which sounds like its edging along a murky, tame, slow paced  edition of Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek. It’s pretty much boring; at first listen, unless you’re horny.

Don’t get me wrong, the vocals themselves are actually amazing; it’s just that this particular song brings nothing but an overstated new age feel. Which then gets further disjointed once the arrangement changes into rap.

This track is very reminiscent of Kanye Wests ‘808s and heartbreak’ album from 2008, which was a bit of a disappointment, so for us it’s just not doing it. If this track is supposed to showcase ‘the best musical talent of his generation’ then the music industry really is hitting a rough spot at the moment.

Probably worth checking out the ‘amazing’ back catalogue to make up your own mind about The Weeknd.


Download ‘The Zone’

Find out more about The Weeknd:

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