Artist: The Weeknd
Album: Echoes of Silence
Release Date: 21st December 2011
Believe it or not, The Weeknd’s third installment of his free mix-tape series was released way back in 2011, and was met with wide-spread critical acclaim. Echoes of Silence was the name of that mix-tape. It was one of those albums I downloaded ages ago, but never got around to listening to it. It’s been sitting on my hard-drive filling up space, and today was the first time I heard it, thanks to the shuffle setting. on my iTunes.
Canadian-born artist The Weeknd, also known as Abel Tesfaye, has an undeniably incredible voice, and provides a good foundation for the album/mix-tape. His voice is dynamic and the production compliments it intelligently, the booming drums dominate the mix-tape give it a dark isolation, which make it all the more exciting. The Weeknd masters a cover of Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana as the opening track, it’s still the same song, fundamentally but with more gusto than the original. The wild drums seem to grow into bigger and more daunting factor as the track goes on. There are times the percussion dares to outshine the softly delivered vocals, although The Weeknd remains in control of the song.
The following tracks Montreal, Outside and XO/The Host follow in similar fashion, with the manic drums and all making for further high-points through the track, demonstrating the solid effort. Then, at track 5, things take a dramatic turn on Initiation. The Weeknd’s vocals are altered and tuned with harmony throughout the song and it sounds as though there are three or four people singing as opposed to just the one. Additionally, it sounds like some are men and some are women, this incredible dynamic talent to change between falsetto and baritone is something I doubt many artists can pull off.
However, despite having such a promising and entertaining beginning, Echoes of Silence ultimately falls off, goes flat and floats by, without much of it grabbing your attention. Next is its saving grace and is a good song, but tracks surrounding it fall short. Finally, a black-sheep-type cameo from Juicy J on Same Old Song is so out-of-place.
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