On The Weeknd’s new release KISS LAND, the voice is front and center, the beats more subtle, each song rising to a moment or moments of high drama.
The result is intense and powerful. Not perhaps as striking as their debut HOUSE OF BALLOONS which I wrote about here http://rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.com/2011/05/house-of-balloons-by-weeknd.html but the work of a seasoned, more mature artist.
His vibe is not as anguished rather this is more like late period Nine Inch Nails without all the clanging percussion and yelling and screaming. A slightly nauseous synth ripple creates the palette for the plaintive falsetto slightly altered by auto tune.
No agony here just a long slow grind ending occasionally in small cathartic explosions. Another step forward by a deeply original artist not encumbered by genre.