The Weeknd – House of Balloons (2011) Lyrics

Tits & Balloons — the life of The Weeknd..

When the Weeknd magically appeared from the internet ether, there was something truly total about it all: they had the visual aesthetic down, immaculate production, and in Abel Tesfaye, one of 2011’s most distinctive new talents. House of Balloons takes the NyQuil tint of recent efforts by artists like Drake and The-Dream to a place of uncomfortably photorealistic, gritty darkness: that it’s sung with a cherubic voice so clear and sweet only makes it more unsettling. Moving beyond the usual tropes of drugs and excess, House of Balloons presents a world of overdose, withdrawal, chemically-paralyzed sex and vaguely violent seduction, with Tesfaye rendering hip-hop’s celebratory narcissism into something downright detestable.

And yet this mysterious entity manages to pull it all off with music that embodies the self-indulgent nature of its own Dionysian decadence, sprawl and all. Seven-minute epics like “OIAM” and “Loft Music” perfectly reflect the rapidly unraveling personality on display, while “What You Need” infuses up-to-date production values into the best Sade ballad in years, oozing silk even as it bleeds itself out. Yet no matter how conceited the Weeknd becomes, through the faux-psychedelic swirl of follow-up Thursday and pretentious conceptual videos, they’ve never been anything less than captivating.

Inventive, frightening, and dangerously accessible, House of Balloons is an album whose licentious charms are impossible to resist, its uncensored visions of nocturnal saturnalia soothing and disturbing in equal measure.


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