Truth be told, I was nervous the first time I saw the Weeknd live. He’s not exactly known for his upbeat music, after all. But, I can say without reservation that the show was nothing short of incredible exciting and entertaining.
With that in mind, I can say that I am insanely excited to catch the man behind the moniker next time he’s in Toronto – the songs on his latest record, Kiss Land, are hugely dynamic, and will undoubtedly make for an even more exciting live show.
Kiss Land is the first studio album by the Toronto native. And, after three increasingly outstanding mix tapes, it’s safe to say that it didn’t disappoint.
The tone is the same industrial one that we’re used to, with the Weeknd’s sweet sing-songy vocals crooning out those unforgettable lyrics. It’s the finishes that are simply more polished, and that has paid off a lot.
‘The Town’ is a perfect example of the Weeknd’s lyrical subtleties. The song starts with a soft, sweet voice – “You did many things / That I liked, that I liked / And you like diamond rings / I can provide, I can provide for you / You made me feel so good / Before I left, on the road / And you deserve your name / On a crown, on a throne” – before bursting into a thumping story of betrayal.
‘Belong To The World’, meanwhile, tells a tale of being unable to capture a loved one. Paired with the Weeknd’s production powerhouse, the song features what ends up sounding like a quick burst of a camera lens.
Starting out with what sound like smokey, ’80s-inspired guitars, ‘Wanderlust’ quickly confirms your suspicions, diving into a nostalgic pool of electropop back-beats, while lyrics like, “Good girls go to heaven / Bad girls go everywhere”, bring you back to this decade.
My favourite track, however, is ‘Live For’.The song’s mantra, “This is the shit that I live for / With the people that I’d die for”, is happily relatable – and Drake’s guest appearance doesn’t hurt either.
Each track, however, could easily be considered a stand-out. Title track, ‘Kiss Land’ features the Weeknd’s somehow modest braggadocio, while the unconventional call-and-answer formula that ‘Pretty’ follows makes for an interesting listen.
For more on the Weeknd, visit www.theweeknd.com.