I was a massive fan of R&B, from some great commercial artists (Destiny’s Child, Donnell Jones, Mary J Blige) to the more lesser known (Mona Lisa, JazzyFatNastees, Amerie) and the more serious (D’Angelo, Maxwell & Jill Scott).
For a while I fell out of love with R&B as everything sounded so contrived and there was nothing fresh happening but then one or two artists would always get me excited at the possibilities of the much maligned genre.
I loved Janelle Monae’s audaciously funky 2011 ArchAndroid album. Raw and unfettered by commercial viability, it changed the scene for a lot of artists.
But one album I never saw coming was The Weeknd’s Trilogy. I came to this album fresh and saw it in a top 10 list of albums. Never having heard of The Weeknd I was very skeptical – back in the day an R&B album on more than one CD was either a naff compilation with a lot of filler or a bootleg!
After the first listen of the first disc a few songs struck out immediately as fresh, soulful and exciting. House Of Balloons/Glass Tables is just daring, brash and sublime enough to be the best track on the album and sets the tone at which The Weeknd works.
On first listen the lyrics can sound a little immature and gratuitous with profanity. But this is one of those albums that grows on you with each listen and becomes so listenable that you appreciate the cockiness this young man has from the sheer musicality, vocal talents and lyrics. As he says `He’s only 21…’ but he is the best R&B artist out there right now.
This is a permanent fixture in my iPhone/iPod and CD Players at home as it is so varied and beautiful. I would have it on in the car too but the profanity ain’t for my young kids ears!
High For This
House Of Balloons/Glass Tables
Life Of The Party
Heaven Or Las Vegas
Same Old Song
Till Dawn (Here Comes The Sun)
I urge you to buy, not from amazon £15 – other sellers have it for around £7 – asap! You will not be disappointed.
I hate people doing Michael Jackson covers but even there Weeknd’s cover of Dirty Diana – D.D. – is exceptional.
Sexy , soulful, smart, modern, Maxwell, D’Angelo, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding….if you like any of this stuff you will love this album and I would certainly put this fellow up there but probably more prolific than many of these R&B legends…